View Full Version : Morrowind RP (ACTUAL)
02-10-2010, 03:57 PM
To start this RP rolling, we'll start in separate locations and I will work to bring us together later on. For now, start with your character's daily life.
02-10-2010, 04:09 PM
Adaves Nerethi walked through the street of Vivec. Built on a lagoon in the Ascadian Isles region, it was a paradise and marvel of construction. Each section of the city was divided into various floating cantons, each home to a certain class or Great House. Of far greater importance to the city was its holiness. The city was home to Vivec, "utmost in the perfections of this world and the others, sword and symbol, pale like gold." A God, one third of ALMSIVI, the Tribunal. As an Ordinator Nerethi was dedicated in his life to service of the Tribunal. If his Gods said to do something, it was done instantly and without question. Heresy was punished swiftly. Crime was stopped instantly. His work was Holy.
So as his boots thudded against the stone of the Foreign Quarter canton, he took consolation in his task. He stopped his patrol briefly and gazed into the water at his reflection. His holy Indoril armor shone, golden in the sun. Unlike most of his comrades, he wore no helmet. It was a privilege reserved for higher ranks. He enjoyed it. Rather than being a faceless and intimidating force, he was one of the Dunmer in service of the Tribunal. An ordinary man, not a God. And it helped when an ordinary man enforced the laws.
Normally Adaves Nerethi would not be on such duties, he was attached to the Order of War and not the Order of the Watch. But this was a special circumstance. A good friend had fallen ill and a replacement had been needed for his duties on short notice. Nerethi had volunteered. So he looked away from his own visage and resumed his pacing. The odds of any crime being carried out here were very poor. You could not find a single n'wah foolish enough to cross the Ordinators. Crime was for other cities, not Vivec.
02-11-2010, 03:14 PM
Deep beneath the Arena Canton of Vivec, just off the western section of the Canalworks lies the Headquarters of the Morag Tong, the honorable assassin's guild constrained by ancient traditions and rigid codes of conduct.
Kain sat by a small table in the corner of his room, feather quill in hand, writing on a small parchment. The candle had almost ran it's course.
Writs of execution. He had to pass a lot of these lately. House wars, vendettas, feuds of all natures had their price in blood and the Morag Tong spilled this kind of blood. There was death everywhere these days.
Kain twitched his nose. The life of an Exalted Master was not as grand as some of the lesser Brothers might think. He's been itching to get out on a mission again, but no... he was needed here to handle the internal affairs of the Tong. Well... someone needed to do these, and they were so few who could climb this high in the guild's hierarchy.
The Dremora could hear the waters of the canalworks passing through the pipes in the walls. It gave a certain feeling of claustrophobia that he strangely endorsed. He felt safe within his home, protected from an outside world that despised his kind.
Hearing a soft knock on the door, Kain put the quill down and shouted "Enter". An old man, a Dark Elf, slowly passed into the room. It was Master Goren Andarys. He arrived a short while ago from Ald'ruhn, to participate in the council Granmaster Eno was about to hold. The man was obviously uncomfortable with all the incense burning in the Dremora's room. Most people were this way. Their fragile noses could not bear it. But it didn't bother Kain.
"Master Goren. Is something wrong?"
"No. I was... sent" he put accent on the word 'sent'. It upset him that a man of his stature would be 'sent' on an errand. "...to inform you that the Grandmaster wants to see you before the council. It is rather urgent, so hurry up."
"Very well. I'll be there shortly."
Goren loudly closed the door on his way out. Normally, Kain did not appreciate being talked down to, but the Grandmaster was an almost-unique exception. He owed his life to him more than once, and respected him as a father, superior and leader. And if Eno Hlaalu wanted to see him before an important meeting, he would not be late.
He picked up the small statue of Mephala on his desk. Kissing it, the Exalted Master recited a short prayer for good fortune. Whatever his mission would be, a person like him needed all the unholy protection he could get.
He put the statue down slowly and departed to the Inner Sanctum.
02-11-2010, 03:40 PM
Caius Aurelias walked into Balmora on one rainy day. The city was the head of House Hlaalu and home to a great deal of business and intrigue. This was not why he had come however. Balmora had another attraction for the Legionnaire. It was the nearest city to his current assignment, Fort Moonmoth.
The Imperial Legion was the fist of the Empire. Centered in Cyrodil, the Empire covered the whole of Tamriel. For the most part the occupation, a rather distasteful word, was peaceful. But the Legion garrisons served as a reminder of both the ultimate and the Law. So Aurelias had been stationed to the most recent Imperial acquisition: Morrowind. The Dark Elves had resisted at first, but ultimately even their demigods had realized they could not hold out forever. They had signed an armistice and joined the Empire. They had considerably more leeway than other provinces, which was all the more reason to show a strong Legion presence.
So he walked through the streets of Balmora, rain pattering on his armor. Maybe he would find a tavern for the day and have a drink by the fire. Once the sun went down he would attend to the other matter that brought him to the city, the secret matter.
02-12-2010, 03:14 AM
Shana returned to her home in the evening. A decent building, a little isolated from the Calderan crowd, situated at the far eastern wall of the city. She enjoyed the quiet nights, but at the same time it was a tiresome walk from the center of the city where she usually spent the day. She has grown accustomed to Imperial-themed houses, yet the wild part of her would like to spend nights in a tent, feeling the ground under her, not behind stone walls in a city. At least it was better than the giant crab shell in the Skar. How could people even live piled up like that is beyond her.
Her dealings in Caldera did not bode well. But then, what can you expect from a town where Hlaalu and Imperials run the affairs hand-in-hand. Of course, a Redoran could get into the field by snatching an opportune moment, but that moment has yet to arrive.
For now, the only legal dealings she did were with the local pawnbroker, Irgola, as well as the trader Verick Gemain, who were more than happy to accept Redoran crafts hard to find in these Imperial-dominated regions. Having bonemold armor for sale saved the time for many adventurers who had to go all the way to Khuul or Ald'ruhn, and of course Shana got quite a cut of the profits.
She also got into the good graces of the local Hlaalu governor, Odral Helvi. She didn't like the man at all, but she didn't show this, and the fool gained some sympathy for her. Almost all interested parties knew of his ebony-smuggling dealings, but she has yet to obtain solid proof of the said illegality. Blackmail can go along way into obtaining what one might want.
However, her real goal was the Abaelun Mine, the only diamond mine in the whole Vvardenfell. Unfortunetly, the Imperials and Hlaalu who ran the operation were not idiots to accept a cooperative proposal so easy, let alone part with it. But the mere thought of diamonds and the equal amount of coins made Shana smile.
"Not to mention they are pretty. What more motivation can someone get?"
After doing her night rituals, Shana went to bed, falling asleep almost when her head touched the pillow.
02-12-2010, 08:19 AM
Nerethi's shift was almost over. It had been an uneventful afternoon. An outlander had asked for directions to the Mage's guild, and a pilgrim had been seeking the Puzzle Canal. Now as the moon started to rise Nerethi could feel more comfortable. In an hour his shift would end and he would drink some shein in peace, free from the questions of outlanders.
Suddenly he heard the clatter of footsteps and turned. A Bosmer was running toward him, glancing behind him. The Bosmer stopped in front of him, breathing heavily. "Help! I've... been... attacked!" he gasped. Nerethi grimaced, so much for an uneventful watch. "By who?" The Bosmer was still breathing heavily, but he was able to speak now. "I didn't see... I was in the Arena looking around in the canal works." "Foolish outlander," Nerethi rebuked him, "don't you know better?" he sighed. "Now I have to investigate it. Stay in the Foreign Quarter where you're welcome Outlander." He turned and set off for the Arena Canton.
For several years rumors had been common about the Arena's canal works, and any person with sense would stay away. But an officer of the law didn't have that luxury. He asked himself what Lord Vivec would do. He found reassurance in the promise of Lord Vivec's Second Sermon "Thus whoever performs this holy act shall be proud and mighty among the rest!" He entered the Arena canton and went down the stairs to the canal works. He placed his hand on the hilt of Moonlight, the ebony scimitar passed down in his family. He stepped through the doorway, ready for anything.
02-12-2010, 06:35 PM
"You summoned me?"
"Kain, come in. Have a seat."
Eno Hlaalu's sanctum was in fact a small chamber in which he spent most of the day. Nothing you would expect from the room of the greatest assassin in Vvardenfell, but then, the old Grandmaster has never been one for luxury or extravagance.
Kain sat down on a small wooden chair, facing his superior. You could not usually tell what Eno was thinking or feeling, but this time it was obvious from the look of his face that something is troubling him greatly.
"Kain..." he spoke the name with a slight sigh, "There is a certain situation that might put the whole guild in danger. And I am afraid that this might very well be the most difficult task you will ever embark upon."
"I was never afraid of danger.", the Dremora said bluntly. "Just say the word and I will do as you command."
"I know you will. But this time... things are different. Over the last few weeks, I have been getting... reports of murders committed all over Vvardenfell. Assassinations made in our name, that neither I, nor any other Masters petitioned."
"How do we know that?"
"The bodies -- victims of all walks of life -- were found with parchments that bear our sigil, the sigil of the Morag Tong. A very professional forgery."
"Are you sure they were not Gray Writs issued by some of the Masters?"
"No. Some of the victims were secretly working with us, as spies, informants, or even thieves. They did not know much, but the Masters had no interest in killing them. No... there is a force here that wants to get us into great trouble. The authorities do not look kindly upon such matters. If it continues this way..."
"Do you suspect that the Dark Brotherhood is involved?"
"It could be anyone. We have many enemies: The Dark Brotherhood, the Camonna Tong, the Telvanni, the Sixth House... even betrayal from one of our own ranks is not out of the question."
"Why was I not informed of this the whole time?" Kain asked with suspicion.
"I will be honest, Kain. I am old, and sick, and surrounded by people who want me dead more than ever. I knew you were not implicated, so I kept you away from this until I could use you now. You are the only one I can really trust in all of this."
"I understand.", he quickly replied, "What are your orders?"
"Not orders. This will never go on any official guild papers, nobody must know you are ever doing this. The Masters are already getting suspicious of each other, and if word breaks out to the lower ranks, there will be dissent, mistrust, we will break from inside. You must find the source of this cancer and cut it's head. And you must do it alone."
"Very well. If that is how it must be."
"This plot has even reached our base. There have been many attacks, near the Canalworks. And most people are not killed, they are sent back to the Order of the Watch, where they report assaults. They come here, they find bodies with our sigils on them. They don't stand for talk. I have covered as much as I can, but this madness must stop."
"Where do I start?"
"Find Niall, a Breton trader in the St. Olms canton. He has been our contact for some time, but never reported back these last days. Either he is still looking, or he has found something far too dangerous for our enemy to let him know. You must hurry. Now more than ever. The Masters are all here for the council, so nobody can suspect something from any of them. You are on your own. Do this and-"
"I do not need a reward. The Morag Tong is my home, and I will do what I must to protect it."
For the first time since they began talking, the Grandmaster smiled.
"May Mephala grant you success in this dark endeavor, Exalted Master."
Kain was traveling through the canalworks at a quick pace. There was no time to lose. Armed properly, clothed in his finest suit of black leather armor, and covered in robes that hid his true race from outsider eyes, he left in the middle of the night for the St. Olms canton. He just hoped he won't arrive too late.
As he opened the door that lead out of the canals, Kain bumped into an unexpected figure. He was one of the Ordinators, the order who ruthlessly and efficiently enforced the laws of Vivec.
An imposing Dunmer, in a full suit of heavy armor specific to the Order of War, his hand ready on an impressive ebony blade that could cut through the toughest armor and break the strongest of shields. He was apparently of the higher ranks, as he wore no helmet. "What would someone like him be doing here?", the Dremora wondered.
Kain lowered his head. He could *not* let him see his face.
The lawman looked at Kain with suspicious eyes, inspecting him from head to feet. Luckily, Kain's true attire was hidden from sight, covered in robes that would befit a beggar. Nobody would suspect a thing... hopefully.
"Move along.", said the Ordinator after a minute of psychological torture.
Kain briefly nodded and quickly passed by the Dunmer as they went in opposite directions.
02-12-2010, 09:24 PM
There was something strange about the robed figure who passed by, though dressed in the tattered robes of a beggar he had not asked for a single coin. Nerethi had dismissed him, but immediately decided on another course. He sheathed his sword silently and let the man gain distance, then he turned the corner and subtly followed him. This one had something to hide, and Adaves Nerethi would be the one to find out what it was.
Darkness had fallen in Balmora and Caius Aurelias attended to his other matter. He passed from the mercantile section of the city into the residential areas, then across the Odai River into the working class areas. He climbed a flight of stairs and ducked into the shadows. He waited long enough to assure he was not being followed, then continued down the narrow street. At the end he reached the small house he sought. He knocked in a special pattern and the door opened. He entered into the house of the Spymaster. He sat at the small table and looked at the Spymaster. "Here is the information you requested." Cosades looked it over. "Yes, this will do nicely." He tossed a small jingling sack to Aurelias. "A little something for your trouble. But I have something new for you." Aurelias counted the gold. "What do you need this time?" "Information about a necromancer. But for now I only need to find out which ship he came to Vvardenfell on." The Spymaster passed a piece of paper to him. Aurelias took it. "It will be done Cosades." And with that he rose and left silently.
02-12-2010, 11:01 PM
The following day, Shana had an unexpected visitor. An old friend of her's in the Thieves Guild sent a messenger to her house in Caldera. Apparently, the faction actually managed to acquire a signed correspondence between Governor Odral Helvi and a man named Drinar Varyon in Ald'ruhn, a small-time smuggler posing as a student of native Dunmeri poetry. The letter contained details about the governor's illegal dealings in ebony, as well as stealing from the mine to fill his personal purse.
"This is the moment I've been waiting for.", Shana smiled to herself. If she got her hands on that letter, painted with the governor's seal as solid proof, she could sent it to that eccentric fellow, Curio at the Hlaalu Plaza of Vivec, as an "external favor" from the Redorans. As nothing is ever free in this world, this would be a big step towards starting a collaboration for the Abaelun Mine.
But things were not that easy. Partners are partners, but the Thieves Guild was not about to give that letter for free. They needed Shana's talents as well as those of her contacts for another matter.
"Travel to Balmora..." the messenger said. "... there you will meet an agent at the Lucky Lockup tavern. He will provide the details of our contract. We will be waiting."
After all was said and done, Shana packed some of her belongings and took the nearest Stilt-Strider to the famous city. Normally she would not meet contacts so openly, but this one-time opportunity... she could not miss.
02-13-2010, 12:08 AM
If Kain were not so preoccupied, he would have surely noticed the presence following him quietly. But as it is, his only concern was to get to St. Olms and fast.
Taking a gondola, he arrived at the canton and, after a few inquires to the local inhabitants, he found out that Niall was living in an apartment at the top of the structure.
Climbing with haste, he arrived to find the door opened. As he entered the chamber, the Dremora discovered a small, bald old man sitting in a pool of blood, struggling to climb unto the bed.
"Damn! I've arrived too late!" said Kain in anger.
Approaching the man, he grabbed him by the arm and shouted:
"Niall... who did this to you? What did you find!?"
The old man had taken some severe hits in the torso, as well as head. The hemorrhage could not be stopped. He had only a few seconds left to live.
"Illu... Illuminib-" the Breton managed to speak, before collapsing on the floor, blood coursing from his mouth and nose.
"No!" Kain shouted in despair. He had failed to find out anything.
The only word the dying informant spewed did not make any sense to the Dremora assassin.
As he wanted to leave, Kain noticed the sigil Eno Hlaalu spoke about, placed obviously on the table, along with a note.
But before he could approach and take them, a familiar figure he encountered a short while ago stormed into the bloodied apartment.
02-13-2010, 07:57 AM
"N'wah scum! Drop your weapon!" Nerethi hissed through clenched teeth. Now his sword was drawn and he was ready. This one had been a murderer after all...
02-13-2010, 08:42 AM
"Hold your blade, Ordinator, you have no idea what happened here." In Kain's eyes burned a growing hatred for the bad luck that made the situation look like a murder. Probably the exact intent of his enemies.
Nevertheless, Kain tried to be as convincing as people. He had no time nor interest to tell the truth to this lawman. He just needed to stall him.
"I am an agent of the Morag Tong and I have an official writ of execution issued by the Grandmaster himself and placed on the head of this person. All perfectly legal. Will you let me show it to you?"
02-13-2010, 08:51 AM
"Show me this writ." It was his first time dealing with the Morag Tong, but he knew the procedure. A writ of execution made it legal.
02-13-2010, 09:09 AM
"It is right there" -- he pointed towards the note that lay on the table near the sigil. "Let me get it for you."
Kain approached the note and slowly took it into his hands. He had no idea what was actually written there, but the distraction would be perfect for what he had in mind. He folded it -- it would buy time -- and handed it to the Ordinator.
"Here it is."
02-13-2010, 09:35 AM
Adaves Nerethi swung his shield around his back to free his left hand. He took the paper and unfolded it. "By the order of the Morag Tong..." He skimmed. "This isn't real, its a forgery!"
02-13-2010, 10:07 AM
... but it was too late. Kain grabbed one of the shurikens hanging on his belt and slashed a wound into the Ordinator's forehead, before delivering a punch with the biggest strength he could muster.
His shurikens saved Kain's life more than once. They were the excellent alternative when time did not allow the drawing of his trusty -- and deadly -- katana. They were enhanced with Mephala's dark spells, and killed in one moment.
"But wait..." Kain stood surprised as the unconscious body of the lawman still breaths.
Even more surprisingly, the spell seems to have absorbed into the victim's wound, healing it at an extraordinary time rate.
"Impossible." Kain muttered. Only a mage could do something like this, and this lawman was no wizard. Could it be a... birthsign? A native potential to absorb spells? He was not sure, nor did he care too much at the moment. The punch did the trick. He was unconscious, even if still alive.
Kain hesitated a bit with the katana in his hand... no, he would not kill him. It is not his fault, he merely enforced the law, however deceiving it might be. The Morag Tong stood for honor, and Kain was an honorable man.
Suddenly, the door slammed open and a shirtless Dark Elf with strange tattoos and wielding a Dwemer Crossbow threatened him.
"Don't move... not a muscle! Infidel scum... bow down!"
Kain intended to dodge the incoming missle and strike back, but after seeing two other similar figures stepping into the room he decided to obey.
The Dremora stepped down slowly, as one of the Dunmer assailants placed his head into a sack. He could only hear their voices...
"Take him away. This is the one we need."
"What about the other one? We can't leave him a-"
"Wait... is that Nerethi? Adaves Nerethi?"
"Don't be stupid, Nerethi isn't an errand-boy, he doesn't do patrols around h-..."
After a short pause, the elderly voice uttered...
"By Dagoth's... this is him! The Adaves Nerethi."
"Daryon will love this... take him in, too. Just do it quickly, we can't remain undetected forever."
Kain felt a painful kick in the head, after which he ultimately lost consciousness.
02-13-2010, 10:54 AM
Nerethi came to slowly. The pain in his head was starting to subside, and he became more aware of his surroundings. He tried to maintain his rate of breathing while he listened silently for the indication of another in the room. There was no one. Slowly he opened his eyes and sat up.
He was in a rough, dimly lit cave. There was a heavy wooden door on one wall. From under it came red light. He reached up to his head. There was a small gash where... where the assassin had hit him with a weapon. He must have been knocked unconscious, but where was he know? Had the assassin taken him somewhere? He reached down for his weapon. It was gone of course. Fortunately they hadn't taken his armor. But they had drained his small reserves of magic. Spells wouldn't work.
He stood and examined the room more carefully. It was sparse, only a pair of red candles. And certain recognizable symbols painted onto the floor and the walls. Heresy...
The sounds of a lock being opened came from the other side and Nerethi lay down again, pretending to be unconscious. The door swung open with a creak and two people entered.
"I told you we should have taken his armor too. Now that Dagoth Gares told you that maybe you'll believe me."
The other man grunted. They both came closer.
"Good, he's still out. Take that cuirass off him now."
For a split second both men were vulnerable, and in that second Adaves Nerethi struck the heretics. his fist caught one in the face and sent him reeling, his foot struck the other in the stomach and he fell backward. The Ordinator leapt to his feet and grabbed his shield. He swung into combat using a shield as his weapon, blocking the blows and delivering his own. It ended quickly and the heretics were knocked out. He stepped out into the passage and eased the door shut behind him, locking it.
Then he set off in search of a weapon.
02-14-2010, 06:58 AM
Kain woke up with one of the biggest headaches he's had in his life. It took a few moments for his vision to clear. He tried to recall what happened... the attack, the Sixth House cultists... they've taken him. He was their prisoner now. How strange that they have not tied him up.
He cast a quick look around the room. Apparently he was in a cave with red candles scattered all over the place in a chaotic fashion. A small ash statue sat quietly in the center.
Kain has been in Sixth House lairs before, but this one looked... different. Could it be one of their main bases? He was not sure.
His armor was still on him, as well as the robe. But when he tried to raise his hood, Kain noticed in anger that the assailants had cut it down. "Dammit. Now I cannot hide my face anymore. I'll have to think of something when... if I get out of here alive."
He checked for his weapons. The two silver daggers, as well as the katana have been removed. But the foolish mortals forgot to take his last remaining shuriken. Kain presumed they thought it was a decoration, not a weapon. Imbeciles.
With the shuriken in one hand, Kain reached for the only visible exit, a large wooden door. Locked, obviously. He could hear footsteps. Someone was approaching. Kain quietly positioned himself near the door.
"Hurry up, open this thing."
Numerous attempts at unlocking were heard.
"Dammit, I can't find the right key."
"S'wit. You heard Daryon, we have no time to lose since the last one escaped. We need to grab the prisoner and fast, then get to the main chamber for the gathering.
"I know, I know. Staying here gives me the creeps too. I just can't fit the-
Kain winced at the hearing of the cultist scream. Sounds of steels clashing were heard, and after a few seconds, the sounds of two bodies collapsing.
The person who killed the cultists kicked the door with strength, and Kain had barely enough time to dodge the incoming slam.
There, in the doorstep, was his recent acquaintance, the Ordinator who was also kidnapped. He looked much worse than last time they met. It was odd to see someone like him full of blood and bruises, and instead of the ebony blade, holding a rusty sword he probably found somewhere in this place. But it did the trick, and the cultist bodies behind him confirmed Kain's thought.
"About time you showed up. I was getting lonely." Kain ironically remarked as he stepped out of the shadows.
And then, for the first time, he could see the Ordinator's horrified gaze as he looked at his true face... and quickly realized that the being in front of him, the assassin who struck him in Niall's apartment was none other than a child of Mehrunes Dagon...
02-14-2010, 07:17 AM
"You!" Nerethi cried as an accusation. "A servant of Dagon... the fourth corner of the House of Troubles..." He meditated silently on this for a few seconds. "What test is this? Does ALMSIVI require proof of my strength..." The Dremora was silent. "Answer me s'wit!"
02-14-2010, 07:23 AM
"Yeah, House of Troubles alright. My entire life has been one damn trouble. And it seems to rub off on you." Kain smiled with irony, then looked behind the Ordinator to the two corpses. Insects from the cave already started gathering on them. "Nice job with them two, though. I admit I am impressed, which rarely happens."
Kain noticed the still horrified look in the lawman's eyes.
"And for future reference, you should keep in mind that House Dagoth is not in the habit of... collaborating with people like me. I am in the same Silt-strider as you are."
He extended a gloved hand towards the Dunmer, keeping his reflexes sharp in case he made an aggressive move.
"My name is Kain."
02-14-2010, 07:39 AM
Nerethi eyed the hand. To take it would be to ally with Dagon's servant. But maybe... maybe the ultimate test for his perseverance and strength was to cooperate, to take that hand. He reached out tentatively and shook the hand. "Adaves Nerethi, Ordinator and Disciple of the Temple." He stepped back and grabbed the chiton dagger from a cultist. He tossed it to the Dremora. "Take that until we can find our own weapons."
02-14-2010, 07:52 AM
"I haven't fought with such rubbish weapons since Iniation... but I suppose they have to do. For now." said Kain, hanging the dagger on his belt.
Nerethi inspected the surroundings for a few seconds, then departed for the stone hallway.
"Before we go..."
The Ordinator turned back, staring at Kain with an impatient look.
"I'm not sure how you ended up in that apartment and how much you know, but I've heard these cultists two times mentioning the name... Daryon. Means anything to you?"
Nerethi suddenly frowned. He lowered his head with a painful look in his eyes, muttering the name Kain just told him. He stood silent for a short while.
"Well...?" Kain rolled his fiery eyes.
02-14-2010, 08:01 AM
"No... Its not possible. It can't be him." Nerethi shook his head.
Kain stared at him expectantly.
Nerethi met the gaze. "Its nothing. Nothing at all. Now hurry up, we need to find our weapons. If this is anything like the other Sixth House bases I've been in, they'll be near the altar." He looked around into the corridor and turned to Kain. "Come on."
02-14-2010, 08:03 AM
"By all means... you first. I have your back covered."
Kain grabbed his dagger in one hand and shuriken in another and walked with Nerethi along the cold cave corridors. The halls echoed with the voices of madness. They needed to be prepared for any horrors they might face.
02-14-2010, 08:44 AM
It was morning in Balmora now, and Caius Aurelias could attend to business. He walked through the main entrance to Balmora and climbed the stairs to the manor section. Up ahead was the Hlaalu Council Manor. Aurelias opened the large door and stepped inside.
It was richly furnished, typical of Hlaalu buildings, with the rewards from decades of business. There were ornate tapestries and rugs, a backdrop to conduct business on. He approached a Dunmer standing in the foyer. "Greetings. I have some business to discuss." The Dark Elf nodded."Then you've come to the right place. Follow me." She led him to a room on the second story, and gestured for him to sit. "So, what can Great House Hlaalu do for you?" Caius leaned back in the cushioned chair. "I'm looking for some information about shipping." The Hlaalu nodded. "I'm sure we can help then, for a modest contribution." Caius reached to his belt and took a purse of gold and placed it on the table. The Hlaalu took it and placed it in a pocket. "That will cover our fee. I'll direct you to one of our House members for the rest of our business. His name is Tidris Velador, he'll work with you on this, though he may have some... fees for his service. You should be able to find him here in Balmora, check the corner clubs." Caius rose. "I will."
02-16-2010, 04:51 AM
Shana arrived at the Lucky Lockup just in time. She had been in Balmora for a day now, but due to certain... problems with the Hlaalu Guards she was detained to her residence until an investigation confirming her identity would be completed.
The tavern was about to close. Conveniently located across from the Silt Strider and the City Gates, the Locky Lockup was always full from dawn till dusk. Almost everyone knew it was a front for the infamous Thieves Guild, but nobody was stupid enough to want trouble with them.
Shana entered the building and told the barkeep she has an appointment with the "agent". He nodded and pointed towards a back room upstairs. She walked there and knocked softly on the wooden door, then opened it and stepped into the chamber.
02-17-2010, 12:30 PM
Golamus had to cover his eyes as he emerged behind one of the large, rounded doors of The council house. Foggy as it was - the faint sunlight made his eyes water. Probably due to his extended stays in the darkest parts of the undercroft. Atleast he never had to endure too many disturbances.
After taking a few breaths of the fresh air, he quickly picked up a steady pace and strolled along the organic bridge that connected the elevated housing to the mainland.
Sadrith Mora was silent, as usual. The only sound coming from the waves crashing against the rocky shores beneath him.
A few minutes passed before his feet once again trode on the soil of the island, it felt reassuring, with him never truly grasping the wonders of Telvanni architecture. Heights made him - Uneasy.
There was work to be done, naturally. Seeing how he'd never bother leaving the safety of his home otherwise. But alas, one could not ignore a request made by a Mouth.
It sounded simple enough. He was to travel to Suran, in the Molag Amur region. He frowned. His makeshift map was going to be of little use. Furthermore, while confident in his own sorcery, he'd have to get there by boat.
"Boats" He said loudly. His inner control betraying him.
Well, water was something else entirely, something far worse.
He recalled that he had to stop by the local alchemist to purchase some potions too. A habit he'd aquired a couple of years ago, following some rather... special circumstances. - What few flasks he had, would not do.
He nodded slightly towards a guard, whom he'd met many times before.
" Ueris, was that his name? Perhaps. "
Golamus trailed off into thoughts, as the rising noise of the slave-markets became louder and louder.
(( Post.Done.Finally. - Apologies. It may not be that long, but atleast i've begun. So the rest should come more naturally. ))
02-18-2010, 04:46 AM
The room was dimly lit, only one small candle burning a calm flame. A large table, a few chairs surrounding it... apparently this was some sort of briefing room for the Guild, but it was not in use right now.
"Shana Vidri. I've heard a lot about you."
The man was standing on a wooden chair with his back turned to Shana. A furry tail from his back could be seen shifting from left to fight.
"A Khajiit." Shana thought in disgust, but quickly regained her composure and said bluntly:
"Yes, I am here per your request. Am I to assume you are the contact who... acquired Governor Odral's letter?"
"Yes, indeed.", the Thief hissed, "For the sake of this conversation, you can call me Rasjii."
"A pleasure to do business with you." -- "Not." Shana thought the latter, her xenophobia getting a little stronger as Rasjii got up and faced her with his cat-like eyes.
He was a small man, dressed in simple clothing. A Chitin dagger was hanging from his belt, as well as a purse whose golden contents could be easily heard wherever he made a move.
"I understand your superior requires a favor from me as an interested party, as well as a moderate sum of Septims, before the letter would be placed in my possession."
"Smart girl.", he remarked with a bored tone.
Shana frowned, cleared her throat, and continued:
"I have the required sum right here", she said placing a small bag on the table. The Khajiit took it slowly into his clawed hands, emptying it's contents on the table. He looked pleased.
"Excellent. But there is one more matter you must attend to. Strictly for the Guild's interests, you understand."
"I do. May I have a seat before we continue?" Shana asked, trying to keep her tone as civilized as possible.
The Khajiit raised his shoulders in an apathetic fashion. Shana did so.
"I realize you have no fighting skills, so this won't be a suicide mission. All you need to do is inspect some guy's ship, gather every information you can, and return to us. Got it?"
"This fellow is unbelievable."... "Yes, I understand, but I'm afraid I need a little more... insight before I leave."
"Naturally. A certain ship has arrived into port recently. The Ebonheart Port. Imperial business mostly, but we have our own niche in it. Our troubles are not with the Imperials though, but with the ship's owner. A rather... strange magician. We need you to go to Ebonheart and inspect this ship. You'll know it by it's black color and a flag depicting a skull with glowing red eyes."
"Is this a pirate ship, by chance? I thought you said there was no-"
Rasjii laughed out loud. "No. You'll understand once you get there. All we need you to do is find out as many details as you can about the ship. The cargo it carries, the passengers... if any, travel routes, stuff like that." he smirked. "If you can get into the ship and get a first-person look, it would be even better."
Shana was worried. She had not thought that this task will involve mages or traveling to other cities.
"I think this might get a little... troublesome. Can you dispatch one of your guild members to escort me. I can pay mo-"
"No. Take it or leave it.", Rasjii said bluntly.
"I... very well. I shall book passage to Ebonheart the next morning."
Shana stood up and left the room, worried, but at the same time relieved because the Khajiit was no longer around her.
02-18-2010, 01:41 PM
Caius Aurelias had checked almost every cornerclub or tavern in town. The last one was The Eight Plates, Tidris Velador had to be here. He stepped through the door. It was an average sized place, decently decorated. He continued to look around, and he noticed he was the only outlander present. Well, it couldn't be worse than the Council Club had been.
He walked to the counter. The publican stared at him. "What do you want?" Caius decided to play it safely. "Some flin if you don't mind. And maybe some information as well..." The publican blinked and shrugged. "Maybe." "I'm looking for a man named Tidris Velador, we have some business to attend to." The publican handed him his drink and palmed the slightly-higher-than-needed payment. "He's sitting at the table in the corner." Caius smiled and thanked her, then walked to the table and sat down.
02-20-2010, 08:09 AM
Shana was walking up the stairs leading to the Silt Strider, with the pouch of gold ready at hand to pay the Dunmer who will ride the beast all the way to Ebonheart.
As she was about to arrive, she was stopped by the call of a Bosmer who ran quickly in her direction.
"Wait!... Shana, you're Shana Vidri, right?"
"That I am. And who you are you?"
"Whew, I was sent here by... you-know-who" he pointed towards the Lucky Lockup
"Oh, is there a change of plans?" -- "Not that it would be surprising at all." she thought.
"No, but we just found out there is someone else looking for... the same thing." He got closer to her, almost whispering. "An Imperial... Caius something-or-other. I don't know who he works for but we've received information he's been questioning Hlaalu higher-ups about that shipment."
"Great. So what am I supposed to do?"
"Nothing. You... um... carry on with your task. We just wanted you to know in case... anyway, I must be off now. Safe journeys!" the small wood elf took off in the streets.
"Excellent." remarked Shana with irony. "Where's the fun without complications...", she sighed and proceeded towards the Silt Strider master.
02-21-2010, 07:01 PM
Adaves Nerethi moved along the wall of the cave, very quietly. Kain followed silently behind. Strange noises echoed through the passageways, and red light illuminated the rocks. "Up ahead is the altar, our gear will be inside." Nerethi whispered. He furtively stuck his head into the room and looked around. "Its clear." They moved in and Nerethi looked into the troughs on the side. His scimitar was present, and none the worse for wear. He could see Kain had found his weaponry as well. "Kain, see if you can find a restore magika potion around here. If you fin one I'll-" The words froze in his mouth as he saw what was going on. Through each entrance a dozen cultists and ash creatures entered. And in the forefront was a familiar face...
02-21-2010, 08:05 PM
Sket'thet Ardhul stared down on the city of Balmora from the top of the Silt Strider. The Khajiit despised the city he had "grown up" in, but, for some reason, couldn't seem to leave it behind.
Ardhul was returning from a mission given to him by the Master Thief of the Thieves' Guild, successful as usual. He had been sent to steal a particularly unique set of armor from a noble in Ald'ruhn and had barely escaped with his life. All he lost this time was the tip of his other ear. Another scar to match the numerous others all over his body.
Ardhul was a very skilled thief, almost as good as the Master Thief himself, but had never risen beyond a Wet Ear, and it was for a reason. Sket'thet was a pariah among the Khajiit and Argonians. Wherever he went, they shied away from his very presence. On the outside Sket (whom was know all over the isle of Morrowind as the Master Apprentice) was no different from any other Khajiit, save for the scars, but something about him drove fear into their hearts.
Sket'thet Ardhul was not originally from Morrowind. No one knew where he came from, and those who asked him discovered quickly that they would never ask again. The most anyone had ever gotten out of him was that he had actually been born in a very cold place in the north, and that he had the unusual habit of constantly desiring to chase other Khajiit's up trees. Furthermore, it was noted by all that he only traveled, and conducted his heists, during the day.
It was morning, but Ardhul needed to get inside, fast. The previous night had been rather... exhausting. A soft bed was needed.
02-21-2010, 08:32 PM
[OOC: Good to have you aboard, but please fill out the info on the sign-up page http://www.avatar-forums.com/role-playing-forum/5707-morrowind-rp.html ]
02-21-2010, 09:21 PM
[OOC: Done, and, done.]
02-21-2010, 09:39 PM
Sket was just stepping down from the Silt Strider when a female Dunmer rushed by him, nearly knocking him off of the platform. "Dammit! Watch where you're going, you filthy Night Elf!"
"I could say the same for you!" she retorted.
As Sket'thet saw her face his jaw hit the ground, "You... You're Shana Vidri! No wonder I couldn't find you in Caldera, you were here! I lost the tip of my ear because of you!"
"What are you talking about?"
"I needed to buy an invisibility potion from you but you were nowhere to be found! Just like one of you to be off somewhere else when you're really needed. Had I done this job without a scratch or casualties I may have finally made it beyond a Wet Ear, but now that won't happen."
Sket'thet suddenly turned and ran off. He could feel himself losing control. Sket'thet Ardhul would not let his secret get out to the likes of her, someone who couldn't decide where they wanted to be in life. She was a filthy Dark Elf who didn't have the courage to become a member of the Thieves' Guild, and that was all he needed to despise her all the more.
02-22-2010, 06:44 AM
OOC: I'm glad you're in our RP, but please try not to write the dialogue for other people's characters. If you want to see character interaction, take a look at how Kain and Nerethi conversed so far and see what I'm talking about. The best way is to make short posts for char interactions and wait for the respective person to respond in another short post, and so on until the conversation ends. The best way to portray other's characters is by describing their emotions as seen through your character's eyes, no more and no less.
For example, Shana would *never* address a Khajiit like that, despite her inner hatred for his kind and her xenophobia. Also, she never wanted to join the Thieves Guild, they were only her collaborators.
I'll let this go for now, but please try to avoid situations like this in the future. Thanks.
PS: @Shatner, if you decide to modify the rules for this RP, please inform me so that I do not speak out of misinformation.
02-22-2010, 07:19 AM
OOC: Not a problem Kestor, I trust you in this implicitly. I figured if you wanted to address the autohitting you would. And you did.
02-22-2010, 08:19 AM
Cultists. Everywhere. They must have been hiding in the stone halls, waiting for the oportune moment to strike. The cavern Kain and his Ordinator companion were in was perfect for an ambush. They were surrounded by many, some with clubs, some with swords, crossbows, axes and knives. Nowhere to escape. Nowhere to run.
A group of Sixth House members disarmed both prisoners, and forced them to sit on their knees as they tied their arms together with rope. The crowd was getting angry, Kain could hear their screams and their lust for torture and death: "KILL them! Kill them!"...
Suddenly, they stopped. A faint whistle could be heared from the farthest entreance. A small dark elf, dressed in red and black robes wearing tattered gloves and leather boots. He was limping, apparently an injury to his right leg. Only a light wooden cane helped him walk properly. He positioned himself in the front of the army. Not as imposing or threatening as one might think a leader would be. But there was something to him, something strange. Kain felt it too, but the one who was most affected was Nerethi. For reasons the Dremora could not understand, Adaves Nerethi was horrified.
The man stopped whistling. It was quiet in the cavers now. Only the usual sound of the wind flowing from outside, echoing in the hallways.
"Welly, welly, welly... what do we have here." the man spoke with a rather amused voice. "It seems our little mouse... is a rat, after all.", he approached Nerethi slowly.
The man was close enough to Kain now, close enough for the Dremora to see his face. Very pale for a Dunmer, old, wrinkled face, relatively long hair, and a goatee. But the most imposing thing about him were the eyes. Red, glowing strongly in the dark chamber. Not fanatically, as one might expect from a Sixth House member, but his look betrayed a touch of madness, soaked in an intense desire for revenge. And Kain noticed there was something wrong with his left eye. It looked like it was made out of glass. Living glass. From his smile, he found all of this amusing.
Nerethi shook his head, mumbling something about "You" and "Cannot be".
"When I heard the great, mighty Adaves Nerethi was unconscious in one of our prison cells, I decided to throw a party in your honor. I wanted balloons, and bards, and drinks and songs and everything! But no... you just *had* to kill some of my men and ruin it all, did you? You haven't changed one bit. Still the same, I see. Oh well." he sighed and turned back, taking a few steps away from the Ordinator.
Kain saw that Nerethi was trying to ignore this apparent acquiantance of his. His head was down, as he engaged in a form of silent prayer. Probably to ALMSIVI.
The Cult leader bit his lower lip. "Oh... I hurt your feelings, now? You won't talk to me, I see. No more of that brave charm of yours, that boast about the glory of the Temple and the victories of the Tribunal. Hmm?"
The Ordinator stood silent. Kain coughed, but the Cultist ignored him. He checked the ropes, they were not as solid as the ones he had encountered in his carreer. They could have been easily burned with enough concentration and magicka, but that was exactly what he was lacking right now.
"Not surprising. Pride and glory all fade when you are near death. That's what you think it's going to happen, right? Death. Ahhh... such a sweet thing for the likes of you. But don't worry, you won't die so easily at MY hands." he laughed to himself for a short moment.
Kain looked around the room. Besides the leader, there was no mage. He could not drain anyone of magicka to fuel his powers. And while this was the stock room, no restore magicka potion could be visible.
"Well, old friend, since you're not much of a conversationalist, maybe you'd like to hear *me* speak... about Dralora, perhaps?" he turned his face towards Nerethi and smiled wickedly.
The Ordinator was broken from his prayers. He could not help but hear it. Kain could see the fear and horror growing in his friend's eyes.
"A-ha! Now you're starting to be polite and pay attention. Good boy." said the Dunmer.
Nerethi raised his head and met the Cultist's mad gaze.
"Well, she was a bad, bad girl at first. Wouldn't obey. Wouldn't understand. And we couldn't replace her, either. She was the only survivor. Besides you, of course, but runaway rats can't be turned into Corprus Beasts, can they?"
Nerethi shouted "YOU turned...!!??" he couldn't speak anymore. His nemesis smiled once again.
"Well, we had to force-feed her corprus meat at first.", Nerethi frowned as he heard the words... "Raw corprus meat." the Dunmer mage laughed. "She vomited a few times, was close to dying more than once, but her Ordinator endurance paid off. She lived through the procedure."
There was only one way Kain could gather enough magicka for the lesser destruction spell to work, and that was to use the powers of his unique birthsign. Oblivion. The Mark of Mehrunes Dagon. He hasn't used it since the Downfall, and never intended to again, but this time... the situation was dire. There was no other way of acting. Kain started gathering his energies as he felt Dagon's embrace once more upon him.
"If I knew I'd have the pleasure of seeing you again, my dear friend, I would have kept her here, just for you. But right now, it's hard to pick her out of all the Corprus Monsters at Red Mountain. So sorry." the Dunmer shook his head.
Nerethi could hold it no longer. His face turned red with range. He tore out from the Cultist who held him on his knees and charged towards the Dunmer, kicking him in the groin. The mage tried to cast a spell on him, but the Ordinator naturally absorbed it, just as with Kain's enhanced shuriken some time ago. It took a few moments for the cultists to grab Nerethi and place him back at his former stand.
The mage coughed blood as he slowly raised from the ground, picking the cane on his way up.
"Tsk tsk tsk... damn Atronarch. That's how you escaped in the first place. Why must luck always favor the corrupt? I should have killed you back then, I should have ripped your intestines and strangled you with them!"
"Now that's sick. Even for me." Kain broke the dialogue, after he knew he had his magicka ready.
"Ahh... but I've forgotten about you! Eno's star pupil. Quite a disappointment."
"And just who the f*ck are you?" Kain insultingly replied. His patience was growing thin. He was tired of these sick psychological games. And he cared for the Ordinator in a strange way he could not explain. In this situation, he was like a good friend, rather than an uneasy ally.
"Ouch. I'm hurt. Literally." the mage said as he wiped some of the blood pouring from his nose with the robe's sleeve.
"Who am I, you say?" he turned his back on both of them, raising his hands in the air. "I could tell you about my life's history, how I met your Grandmaster and how we both starting hating each other's guts... but I don't think you are in the position to demand anything, little welp." he turned back at him, casting a ferocious look.
"Humor me." Kain replied, trying to hide his growing fear.
"You know... I like the way you think." the mage smiled. "You can call me Daryon. Indoril Daryon. But my family name no longer matters."
02-22-2010, 08:54 AM
"You have no name, n'wah!" Nerethi spat. "Traitors and heretics have no right to a name." His voice was tense, and full of loathing. The cultist holding his weapon kicked him in the stomach. He slumped forward a bit but straightened and continued. "You defied your Gods! You betrayed your brothers!" The cultist kicked him again. Daryon was unmoved. He shifted his weight, revealing the Dwemer construct that had replaced his leg, and continued his monologue. "You know Nerethi, I've never forgiven you for taking away this leg. But I may forgive you when you come to serve the Sixth House, in one form... or another." He laughed, it was a cruel and harsh laugh. As it faded away, echoing in the chamber, he spoke again. "Of course, this all depends on what Dagoth Gares has to say about your fate. He should be here any moment now. Maybe he'll turn you into a corprus beast, and then you can join your beloved Dralora!"
Nerethi lashed out verbally, and was kicked in the stomach again. But this time he sprung into action. He'd been weakening his bonds the whole time, at that moment he broke free. As the cultist kicked him, he slammed his armored shoulder into the man's stomach. He fell off balance and Nerthi grabbed his scimitar from the man. He rolled to the side and cut the legs out from under the other cultist guard. And then all hell broke loose.
Just as the cultists were about to attack, a tall ghoulish figure entered the room. The temperature seemed to increase, the whole chamber felt oppressively hot, hot as the fires of Red Mountain. The ash ghoul entered the chamber. "Do you really think you can resist the powers of Dagoth Ur?" its voice was like ice water. "Join your true God, and learn what power is." Nerethi backed up into Kain and raised his scimitar to a defensive position. "Spare me your lies demon!" He hissed. Dagoth Gares chuckled. "Then you will come to Dagoth Ur in his own flesh..." Gares started to make a motion, the prelude to a spell. Nerethi saw and knew it was a race. He gathered up what magicka he had left, and grabbed Kain. Just as Gares' spell swirled toward him, they disappeared... and reappeared again outside the temple in Ald-Ruhn.
02-22-2010, 09:02 AM
Kain felt like someone had grabbed him by the stomach and threw him into a vortex. All he could see was a tunnel made of white light, he and Nerethi were traveling through space at an extraordinary speed.
When it was over, Kain could smell the fresh air. They were outside. In the courtyard of a Temple. Luckily, it was night, and no one could see his face in it's true form.
"By Mephala's..." Kain grabbed his head, attempting to ease the sharp pain... "I thought we'd bite the dust for sure. What did you do back there?"
02-22-2010, 09:07 AM
"A spell of ALMSIVI Intervention. It teleported us to the nearest temple." He regained his footing and stood, then looked around. "We're in Ald Ruhn." He gestured to the dremora. "Lets head in, they have the capability to heal us and give us beds for the night." The dremora looked skeptical. "The priest here is a personal friend of mine. If I accept you under my care, he will as well."
02-22-2010, 09:11 AM
"Thanks... I guess." Kain was not used to thanking people often.
"Just so you know... I don't serve Dagon. What Daryon said was true. I am the Exalted Master of the Morag Tong. I serve Mephala now."
02-22-2010, 09:22 AM
Nerethi grunted. "Your allegiances are your business." He opened the door and entered, Kain followed.
The interior was in the traditional Velothi style. It had a warm and comfortable feel. A robed Dunmer with spiky hair approached. "Adaves? Is that you?" He came closer. "Ah, it is you!" His eyes narrowed slightly. "You don't look good, what happened? And who is that with you?" Nerethi took the priest's hand. "It is good to see you again Tuls. I'm sorry to say I, and my associate, were kidnapped. We managed to escape, but we need rest and shelter for the night. Please don't ask any questions, for now its better if you don't know." The priest nodded. "Anything for you Adaves. Come this way." He led them to a back room with beds, and came back later with a tray of food and drink. Then he left the two in peace.
02-22-2010, 09:31 AM
Daryon was sitting at a table. Being Gares' second, he had the most comfortable chambers in Illuminibi. Playing with a small Ash statue in his hand, Daryon was waiting for his master to arrive. Gares was furious after the two prisoners escaped. Normally any other disciples of Dagoth would tremble in his boots knowing Gares was angry at them, but not him. Daryon was as calm as ever, treating any situation with cynical irony. After all, he had nothing to lose.
As Gares entered the room, Daryon stood up and did the traditional bow, then waited for his master to begin speaking.
02-22-2010, 01:55 PM
OOC: ... Shana would *never* address a Khajiit like that, despite her inner hatred for his kind and her xenophobia. Also, she never wanted to join the Thieves Guild, they were only her collaborators...
OOC: Sorry 'bout that. The whole Thieves' Guild thing is from Sket's point of view though. It's how he sees Shana. I hope you don't mind if I use the wood elf from an earlier post.
02-22-2010, 02:27 PM
Night had fallen, and the red moon in the sky above Vvardenfell burned brightly along with the white moon next to it. It would be full in two days, and Sket'thet needed to finish the job as soon as possible and head into the swamps before then. Only there could he keep his secret safe from most prying eyes. There was the occasional unlucky traveler, but otherwise there were no deaths.
Ardhul could feel the energies of the red moon seeping through the walls of the Lucky Lockup. The slight changes were beginning and to him they felt more painful than the fires of Red Mountain. <Bloody Dogs!> he thought. <Of course they'd have to have gotten me, a Khajiit! It's unnatural that this happens to me, and even more so that they didn't kill me!> A knock on the door broke him from his hateful thoughts. "What do you want?"
"The Master Thief is here to see you," came the voice of a wood elf. Judging by the pitch and force of the knock he was short and thin of frame.
"Tell him I'm not feeling well," Sket managed to get out. He was struggling to keep control. He had to keep control. "I'll see him in the morning."
"The Master Thief won't be here in the morning. He says that you either see him now, or leave the Thieves' Guild immediately."
*Sigh* "Fine," Ardhul said. "Send him in." <Now, how to hide my... condition?>
02-24-2010, 09:26 AM
Kain barely touched the Kwama Egg siting on the plate in front of him. He was used to eating and sleeping very little. The life of the Tong made him this way.
He discreetly observed his Ordinator companion, who was still terribly disturbed. No doubt some old wounds have resurfaced after their encounter at the Sixth House shrine. Daryon's emotional torture apparently affected the usually-cold Adaves Nerethi a lot.
"You cared for her a great deal, didn't you?" The Dremora finally spoke, looking at him in the eye. Nerethi met the gaze for a short while, then lowered his head.
"Look..." Kain said, "I don't know who Dralora is, but... don't trust what Daryon says. He's a snake. He might have made all that up in an instant to satisfy his torture urges. For all we know, she might have died or killed herself before she could be turned into a... you know."
Nerethi was silent.
Kain placed a gloved hand on his right shoulder. "I need your help. I'll help you track Daryon down, I'll help you kill him if it will make you feel better... but don't give up. We could do this. Alright?"
02-24-2010, 09:32 AM
"This decision isn't mine to make. Tomorrow we'll return to Vivec. I will gain a meeting with Archcanon Saryoni, and he will decide what the course of action is to be." Nerethi sighed. After a few moments of silence he spoke again. "Daryon might be a snake, but I don't know if he'd lie about that. We were too close for him to lie... or so I thought." He looked down again. "Regardless of that, if I ever cross paths with him again I'll take more than his leg."
The dremora kept looking at him.
02-24-2010, 09:35 AM
"Very well.", Kain said after a while. "I shall return to my Grandmaster in Vivec as well. He needs to be informed... of many things."
02-24-2010, 09:37 AM
"Lets meet in two days time at the shrine below the Ministry of Truth. I'll have some answers for you then."
02-24-2010, 09:44 AM
"I agree. We'll meet at night, then. Vivec's Temple district is a bad place to be for someone like me, better safe than sorry."
Kain stood up.
"I will book us passage to Vivec for this afternoon."
02-24-2010, 10:02 AM
Nerethi nodded acknowledgement and nibbled at a piece of scrib jerky. It was best to eat, to keep his strength up.
Caius Aurelias' conversation with the Hlaalu had been very... expensive. But it had yielded him some information, specifically the name of the port.
He had quickly checked in with the Spymaster, who had unsurprisingly assigned him to investigate further. But since Ebonheart was an Imperial city, he had no need for cloaks and daggers. His rank in the Legion would go far enough, and would get him all the answers he needed.
Caius booked passage to Vivec for the next day, from there he could walk or take a boat.
02-24-2010, 02:34 PM
Everything had played out well with Sket'thet meeting the Master Thief, Gentleman Jim Stacey. The Khajiit had found an old, hooded robe under the bed and, when questioned about it, admitted that he had been seen, and was in hiding, which was only a partial truth since the one who had seen him was now without a head.
"Dammit! He'd have to give me another mission now," seethed Ardhul. After the armor had been turned over to the Master Thief, Jim had charged Sket'thet to go to Vivec.
One of Jim's informants had been killed recently and one of his other informants had told him that there was talk of the Commona Tong being involved. Jim wanted someone close to their headquarters, and while Jim often visited Vivec, he wanted someone else to do this for him. Of course Sket understood. It would be bad for the entire guild if the Master Thief was killed. So the mission was accepted, albeit begrudgingly.
<Fine.> Sket thought. <I'll risk my neck... AGAIN! But the reward at the end of this had better be pretty damn good.>
What was worse was that Jim wanted him to leave for Vivec in the morning and meet up in Simine Fralinie's bookshop in the East Canalworks of Vivec's Foreign Quarter. Jim also wanted daily reports.
"Jim, you fool. If anyone dies their blood will be upon your hands. And for me to be in the most religious city in the Ascadian Isles, it's almost ironic. I'm practically a heretic for what those DOGS did to me back home! I will get even with you on this one, Jim. I will!"
02-25-2010, 08:35 AM
The next day, Caius Aurelias stepped off the silt strider onto the platform at Vivec. He hated those giant bugs, but there were no horses in Morrowind. He stretched, those hollowed-out compartments were cramped. He looked out at the grassy hills and the city, and decided to take a walk before heading to Ebonheart. Maybe he'd even find a club, and have a drink.
02-25-2010, 01:30 PM
Caius Aurelias wasn't the only one who had been a passenger on that Silt Strider. Sket, wearing the old, tattered robe, came along, offering to pay double both Caius's and his own fare. Of course this made it all the more cramped for them both, but Sket'thet knew it was worth the risk.
Neither said a word to the other during the journey, though the Strider's driver had tried to start a couple of conversations. As soon as the Strider reached the dock Sket got off and gave both Caius and the driver a quick bow, then hurried towards the Foreign Quarter of Vivec, not noticing the tip of his brownish-red furred tail sticking out from under the robe.
02-25-2010, 04:44 PM
A Khajit pushed past Caius, possibly inspired to leave by his Imperial Armor. Khajit had an institutional distrust of guards. But, it was none of Caius' business, or interest, what any Khajit had to hide. He just wanted a drink.
He walked casually into the Foreign Quarter, and climbed up the ramps. He wandered around and finally found "The Black Shalk Cornerclub." He ordered some Greef and sat quietly in the corner.
02-25-2010, 07:34 PM
Sket didn't often visit Vivec, and was having trouble finding his way around. Frustrated, he stalked into a bar and ordered a Cryodillic Brandy for himself. When he was told they were out he decided to order whatever it was the man next to him was drinking. Sket didn't care, he was just annoyed, and at the same time afraid. Ordinators were everywhere, and night was approaching.
The bartender brought Sket a bottle of Greef, "Here ya' go. Same thing as that Imperial next to ya'."
<Imperial?> Sket glanced over to see the same man he had ridden with in the Siltstrider looking back. Sket didn't trust anyone, of any race, for any reason, not even his own. For too long he'd been avoided by people who didn't even know who, or what, he was. He had grown an animosity towards them all and was not about to let some guard from Balmora stare him down like that. With all of the control he had, Sket'thet asked, his voice deeper than usual, brusquely, "What're YOU lookin' at?"
02-26-2010, 04:41 AM
"A Khajit with a bad temper apparently." Caius responded to the gruff question.
02-26-2010, 08:27 AM
Shana walked into the Foreign Quarter of Vivec. It has been a long day of travel and she was too tired to walk to a proper canton, let alone Ebonheart.
She wasn't too excited about sleeping along these outlander s'wit's in a cornerclub, but she was used to doing things she didn't enjoy.
Shana walked up the ramps into the Black Shalk Cornerclub. It wasn't very crowded. A band of Bosmer adventurers, an Argonian, two Redguards engaged in a drinking contest, and an Imperial arguing with a Khajiit in the corner.
"Outlanders. So... unclean." Shana thought frowning, as she approached the bartender.
02-26-2010, 03:19 PM
Sket's ears perked and his whiskers quivered as he caught a familiar scent behind him. He couldn't see the person, but he could make a judgment from the sound of their foot steps and the movement of their clothes and body.
From the sound of the footstep it was a Dunmer woman. She carried herself proudly, but with care, too, so she wasn't of much importance. A good height, decent build, and one who knew how to hold her own. The rustle of her clothing was fluent. The time between her steps casual. One. Two. One. Two. Her footsteps slowed briefly. One.. Two.. One. Two. She had taken a quick glance around the room to study its occupants.
He heard a fair sized pack rustling by her side. Probably Netch Leather, most likely being one big bag with a cover and no more than two, possibly three, pockets on the outside of the bag. Possible trades: Pilgrim? No, the bag didn't sound like it contained the Pilgrim's Path. It held some scrolls and papers, but it didn't seem like it was a Bard's or a Mage's bag. Shaman? Healer? No strong smell of herbs. Trader? Possibly. She might be coming to pick something up. Rouge?
Everything fit almost perfectly. She was sure and careful, able to fight, quick to analyze a situation and surroundings. Average Dunmer height. She had reached the bar, staying away from the Imperial and himself. Sket forgot about the Imperial, and about his drink, turning to look at Shana Vidri, his eyes burning bright, his teach bared, and his tail twitching violently that the cloak covering it made a flapping noise, drawing the attention of everyone else in the bar.
Everyone was staring at the two of them, wondering who might be the first to engage the other. Sket'thet advanced...
... and walked past her whispering, "SCUM!" so quietly that Shana could just barely make it out. Sket walked out the door and slammed it behind him. In the empty hall he took out the small iron dagger stashed in his belt and stabbed himself in the arm, his blood dripping onto the floor.
<I cannot let myself lose what little control I have left, even if she is an indecisive witch! (OOC: Again, I just want to point out that this is Sket's opinion of Shana) I can't risk letting any of those cursed Ordinators find out.>
Sket turned and walked right into someone head on. "AI! Watch where you are going you stupid--!" He was looking directly into the face of an Ordinator's helm.
<Oh joy... and I don't even have time to clean up my mess.>
(OOC: If I am assuming too much about Shana just leave a message on my profile and I'll be sure to change it. This is just what I think someone sent to get information would be carrying and I like to be descriptive so that the reader or other RPers may get a good image of the scene.)
02-26-2010, 03:39 PM
OOC: Just to clarify, I have absolutely no problem with writings like the above. Quite on the contrary, it's perfect. I enjoyed your depiction of Shana as seen through Sket's eyes :). My only problem was with dialogues and that has long since been clarified. You've got nothing to worry about.
02-27-2010, 03:21 PM
A day had passed since the escape, and Adaves Nerethi was in Vivec once more. It felt good to be in a familiar and holy place, rather than a cursed abode of the damned. Above the moon was red in the sky, the light of the night sky gleaming on the temple in Vivec. The High Fane. Nerethi stepped forward and entered, then he walked a few more steps and knocked on the door of Archcanon Saryoni. A muffled voice instructed him to enter. He did.
Archcanon Saryoni was seated at his desk, with Holy Writings open. He also appeared to have a letter in his hands. He looked up at the Ordinator. "Greetings Brother. Please be seated." Nerethi sat in the chair Saryoni pointed to. "I have received your letter describing the events that transpired. I must say they are most unfortunate, and disturbing. This morning I spoke with Lord Vivec about this. He had deep wisdom on this matter. His advice is recorded on this-" Saryoni handed him a sealed scroll. "You will open this in two days, at Ghostgate. It contains further instructions. But for now, I am instructed to tell you to find the child of Mehrunes Dagon once more, Lord Vivec has foreseen that he has a role to play." Nerethi nodded respectfully as he placed the scroll in his pack. Saryoni looked at him once again. "Now go, and may the blessings of ALMSIVI be upon you."
02-27-2010, 03:43 PM
"Daryon..." Grandmaster Eno Hlaalu reflected upon the name after Kain related the events to him in great detail. "Yes, I know him. He was an Ordinator, once. Order of War, if the memory server me right. A decent person, though he hasn't been in his right mind since the Temple found out he was talking to a Sixth House high priest. That's the last time I heard of him. He certainly changed from the person I've known."
"He acted like a sick bastard and planned to kill us. Far from being a good person." Kain replied. "He also says he hates you."
"Me?" Eno raised an eyebrow. "He never acted like he did. Until now. Truly, the guild didn't have much contact with him. He was a high-rank, helped us dispose of some problems the other members of the Temple might consider taboo. But that's it."
"Maybe he's just insane. At any rate, do you know anything about this Adaves Nerethi?"
"Nothing more than the public at large. Never met him, had business with him or inquired about him. Nevertheless, I must say you have done well. Despite your... uniqueness you have managed to gain his trust. I am impressed." Eno smiled.
"I have an appointment with him tomorrow night. He said he will bring me information after his discussion with the Archcanon."
"Don't bother. I will send someone to inform him you are needed here. You have completed your mission and found out who was behind the framing, as well as the attacks." Eno dismissed his intentions. He turned his back to him, and sat on the chair, face turned to the desk. The candle was illuminating the side of his blue face.
"I must do this.", Kain insisted. "It's important. For me. I have to see this through."
"Are you certain?" the Grandmaster asked. "Do not forget your duties to the Morag Tong, Exalted Master."
"I don't. This is in the Tong's best interest. Please... trust me on this."
Eno sighed. After a while of thinking, he whispered. "Very well. I leave the matter in your hands. You can go."
The Dremora wanted to leave.
"Wait...", Eno said. "Take my sigil (http://www.uesp.net/w/images/images.new/4/41/Morag_Tong_Seal.jpg)."
He picked up a small stamp with the Tong's official sigil on it and handed it to him. These were used to mark the Writs of Executions that made murders legal.
"If you ever want to make the taking of a life to be looked upon legally... now you can. It can come in handy someday."
Kain opened the door to find Goren Andarys in the hallway. He looked at Kain with an angry expression on his face, then passed by him through the opened door into the Grandmaster's chambers, closing it behind him. Kain could hear that an argument has started. Apparently Goren was concerned about the Dremora's dealings with a higher-up Ordinator.
He would have liked to sit in and listen more, but the respect he had for the Grandmaster made him depart to his quarters.
"It's not like I could sit there anymore," Kain comforted himself "I'm so tired I could fall on the floor any second."
He retired for an early night. Tomorrow he will resume the journey into this mystery.
02-27-2010, 04:48 PM
Caius Aurelias had spent the previous night in the tavern. It hadn't exactly been restful, but he had slept. He'd set off just before dawn, walking to Ebonheart in the darkness and the quiet. By the time he arrived the shops were just opening for the day, and the workers were arriving at their jobs.
The docks were no exception. Ships floated gently, creaking with the tide. And one of them was the one he was looking for. Fortunately, in Ebonheart he wouldn't have to deal with stand-offish Dunmer. And that was good.
Caius stepped onto the stone dock and walked out. He read the names of the ships, looking for the right one. And he found it Seafoam. He stepped up the gangplank and onto the deck. "Hello?" He called. A muffled voice called out "Hold on a minute!" Caius did, and a few seconds later a red-headed Nord woman came up from the hold. "Hello Imperial. What can I do for you?"
"I'm looking for information on a recent passenger of yours."
The Nord shrugged. "I'll tell you what I can."
Caius smiled politely. He delved into his memory for the description the spymaster had given. "The man was a Nord traveling from Skyrim last week, older and-"
"Creepy. Yes, I remember him. His name was Kjol White-Beard. He stayed to himself in the lower hold. None of the other passengers would go near him."
"Excellent. Can you tell me where he went from here?"
The Nord nodded a negative. "No, he just got off the ship and walked over to a Dunmer waiting on the dock. And that Dunmer was a strange one too. Had a mechanical leg and some kind of fake eye. Anything else you need?"
Caius said no and thanked her for the information with a few coins. Then he set off for a tavern. Maybe they'd know something about the mysterious Dunmer.
02-27-2010, 05:48 PM
It had been a bad night for Sket'thet. The previous evening in the Black Shalk Tavern had fated him to once again meet Shana. To make matters worse he'd been caught by some Ordinators and taken to the prison... or was going to be until the Ordinators dragged him outside. The energies of the red moon did their job. Fortunately for the Ordinators it was not full, or they might have contracted the same condition he had. The Khajiit reluctantly recalled the events that transpired as he sat chained in Vivec's Temple canton.
As the Ordinator dragged him towards the door leading outside, Ardhul begged for him to stop, struggling to pull his wounded arm out of the Dunmer's firm grip. Eventually the Ordinator just got annoyed and called two of his comrades over to help him carry the insane Khajiit to a cell.
As the red moon's light fell upon Sket, he began thrashing, requiring another two Ordinators to keep him restrained. They had just gotten onto the the Hlaalu Canton when Sket fell limp and started making a sound like a hiss combined with a growl. It surprised one of the Ordinators enough that his grip loosened. Just enough for the strange Khajiit to tear out of the Ordinator's hands and rip out the throat of another with his claws. The other arm was used to wound one of the two holding his legs. At this point the three remaining Ordinators had let go of him and drawn their swords.
On any other occasion Sket would have run, but Sket wasn't in at the moment. All that was present was the beastly fury that had taken over. It took another ten Ordinators showing up to finally bring Sket under control, whose hood had been knocked off during the fight. All of them gasped at what they saw and called him cursed names. Names the Khajiit heard all too often in the days of his kittenhood. The stinging remarks somehow brought Sket back in control of himself. It was a miracle. But that wouldn't be able to help tomorrow night.
Sket now sat, chained like the animal he knew he was. Silver everywhere, and it stung like the flames of hell. Earlier the Ordinators had told him to begin praying, that perhaps ALMSIVI might find him worth saving. "Fat chance," he now said to himself. "The God's have forsaken me, and the Demon's won't even trust me. Who is there to pray to? Boethiah I guess. Inspiring the arms of mortal warriors was his way of causing chaos. Too bad that Boethiah has nothing do with this."
The door creaked open, and an Ordinator, followed by a Khajiit female known in the Guild as Sugar-Lips Habasi. "You have a visitor... scum," said the Ordinator, disdain obvious in his voice.
"I'm insane, not blind. I can see that I do."
The Ordinator just lifted his head slightly, probably sneering, and left the room.
"Go ahead, Habasi, deliver your message. I just want to get it over with."
She hesitated briefly, "Master Thief is not pleased. He was expecting more from the great 'Master Apprentice'."
"Quit beating around the brush and spit it out."
"Fine. Master Thief is greatly disappointed. He wanted to have you killed, but someone talk him out of it. You are a lucky Khajiit. You are only expelled from Guild."
Sket was expecting retribution, but not this. He sat silently and Habasi headed for the door. Before she could open it he said, "Then you tell your Master Thief something for me before you go back to you rat hole in Balmora. You tell him that the Ordinators' blood, the blood of the one that I killed and the others that I injured, you tell him that their blood is on his hands, and that his debt will be repaid in full!"
Sket had nothing against Habasi, one of the only few people in Morrowind who was even slightly kind to him. He came to Vvardenfell as a kitten, and ended up being an orphan running through the streets of Balmora until Habasi had taken him in. She taught him everything that she knew about thievery, and that even among thieves there is honor. She was the one that got him into the Guild after his career as a Battlemage went down the well. Habasi was a mother to him, she was the only one that knew he hailed from Solsthiem. Sket would not harm her, and she knew this. But she also knew exactly what her 'son' meant. If she told Jim, Sket would be dead before long. Habasi wouldn't let that happen. She simply nodded and left the Temple for the Siltstrider and a ride back to Balmora, a single tear sliding down her furred cheek.
02-27-2010, 06:01 PM
Caius had entered a pub called The Six Fishes. He was seated at a table, quietly sipping his drink of choice. The patrons were all rather ordinary and boring.
Caius finished his drink and walked over to the guard on duty. "Greetings Trooper," he said addressing the man by his rank.
The Guard nodded respectfully. "For the Glory of Tiber Septim, we are both honored to serve."
"Trooper, can you help me on a matter of security? I'm looking for a Nord. White hair, a beard. Older fellow."
The guard nodded once more. "Yes, I remember him Champion. He was sitting at the end table with a Dunmer. I recall him saying he had business in Vivec before he could join the Dunmer at some place. I wasn't paying much attention."
Because the guard had so many details, Caius suspected the man had probably been eavesdropping out of boredom. But it worked in his advantage, so he wouldn't question it. "Here's two Septims, buy a drink when your shift is over."
And with that he left and set off for the city at the other side of the lagoon.
02-27-2010, 06:17 PM
Fifteen minutes later, he was entering the foreign quarter. This would undoubtably be where any newcomer would first arrive.
After a few hours of asking around, Caius learned the man had been spotted in the underworks. It was tempting to rush right after him, but Caius knew his orders didn't extend to confronting the necromancer. Instead, he returned to the tavern from the night before. He entered at sat at the same table as before.
A hissing voice spoke to him. He looked and saw an Argonian speaking to him. "Caius Aurelias, the spymaster has sent this for you." His scaly claws offered a sealed envelope. Caius took it and read.
Your orders have changed suddenly now. This comes from the Emperor. I cannot reveal more at the moment, but this matter extends far beyond you or me. Your new assignment involves locating this necromancer and following him. Others will be seeking the same goal. But remember that you serve the Empire while they do not. There is a new and powerful organization that is expanding. It is your task to find out who they are, and what they want with an infamous necromancer. You may need a guide and an aide. I suggest you find an Ashlander, they serve as the best guides to Vvardenfell. No doubt this will be expensive. I have sent an associate 400 drakes to cover the costs. Don't fail me on this.
Aurelias laughed morbidly. "This is absurd. Where can I find an Ashlander?"
02-27-2010, 06:39 PM
Shana walked into the cornerclub and called the bartender. She wanted to reserve a room for tomorrow, when she returns from Ebonheart. There were inns there, too, but Shana knew better than to sleep in an outlander-infested town like that.
Near her was a suspicious looking Imperial whom Shana thought he looked familiar. He was reading a note, then smiling to himself as he ordered another drink.
The bartender approached Shana and told her the prices are higher for Dunmer in the Foreign Quarter.
Shana was outraged. He gave her normal prices at night when he saw she was desperate and now he was playing her for a fool. She muttered an Ashlander curse between the teeth.
The Imperial raised his head and looked at Shana with curiosity. It seems the previous words attracted his attention. "Could he know the Ashlander tongue?" Shana wondered.
"No, it's not possible. He's just an outlander. Like the rest of them."
02-27-2010, 06:43 PM
Caius cheered up suddenly. The Dunmer woman who had just spoken was an Ashlander. He rose and came over, and payed her tab. "Excuse me for noticing, but you appear to be an Ashlander. I have a business proposal for you."
02-27-2010, 08:53 PM
Basta'ana Injiit crept silently through the Temple in Vivec, the man she had lost track of for the past several months had finally drifted back into her life. She hid quickly as an Ordinator stormed out of the room her man was in. She waited and was rewarded from her patience when another female Khajiit walked out.
<Hah! Now is my chance!> she thought, but was quickly disheartened by two more Ordinators standing guard on either side of the door. <Damn! I wanted to do this cleanly. Too bad my song, "Sleepy-Time, Goldy Man", isn't finished yet. So far alll it does is make those Ordinators a little drowsy.>
Basta cast an invisibility spell over herself and crept towards the Ordinators. She couldn't afford killing them, but putting them out was another song. She happened to be a skilled alchemist as well. Basta pulled a bottle out of her satchel and removed its cork, covering her nose and mouth with a rag. The two Ordinators caught scent of something, and both took a big whiff while trying to discover its source. Big mistake.
Basta jumped forward and caught them as they began falling to the ground, she didn't need to make too much noise. After she set them down she opened the door to the room and saw a brownish-red furred Khajiit kneeling and chained to the wall.
"Hello, lover!" she said.
"Hello, lover!" came the voice of a female Khajiit. Sket turned his head to see nothing but an open door, but could still smell her scent. The two Ordinators standing watch were out cold. How had he not heard that?
"Who are you, and why are you here?" he asked.
"Well when I heard that my muse had been captured and taken to the Temple (not easily, might I add), I knew I had to get him out. Aren't you glad to see me, lover? Don't you remember me?"
Everything was coming back to him. It was Basta'ana Injiit the bard. "OH! FOR THE LOVE OF... THAT WAS ONE NIGHT! It didn't help that you drugged my drink you harpy!"
"Drugged? No. Your drink was fine, unless my music counts as a drug."
"I know enough about you to know that you've never completed a single one of your songs. You had to have drugged me."
"I've never completed the lyrics to any song. The music, however, plays a completely different tune!" Basta giggled.
"Oh, ****. Here come the puns. Perhaps I just might pray to ALMSIVI. Hopefully I'll get some mercy and die of a nice, quick heart-attack."
02-28-2010, 06:32 AM
The sun was setting in Vivec, and the stars were starting to shine. It was two days after the incident, and now Adaves Nerethi waited at the shrine below the Ministry of Truth. He had no doubt that Kain would show up as had been arranged. Now he only needed to wait. So he gazed at the rising moon, and the Holy City at night.
02-28-2010, 09:20 AM
Shana looked at the Imperial with surprise. An outlander who knows the Ashlander tongue? This was the first she ever met. Still, his closeness to her made her uncomfortable. She cleared her throat and said calmly:
"What kind of business proposition do you have in mind? Please, make it quick, I am on an important assignment that cannot be delayed."
Kain walked to the area of the Holy Temple. At day, it was usually filled with faceless Ordinators staring carefully at the passing pilgrims, always on watch for heretics and spies. At night, though, it was quiet. Only a few patrols. Nothing that a carefully lowered hood would not take care of.
He noticed Adaves Nerethi standing near the shrine, obviously waiting for the Dremora. He was looking at the night sky.
"Here I am." Kain interrupted Nerethi's thoughts as he walked near him. The Dremora whispered: "What's the plan?"
02-28-2010, 09:44 AM
Caius gestured for the Ashlander to join him at the table. They both sat, and he started to outline his plan. "I am in need of a guide in a certain investigation I am undertaking. A certain Nord arrived in Ebonheart last week, and I've traced him this far. I need the assistance of a guide to follow him from here into the heart of the country. I can offer you 300 drakes." He kept the number lower just in case he could save an extra hundred, or in case the Ashlander asked for a higher price.
Nerethi hadn't noticed the dremora arrive, but he wasn't surprised. The expected never comes as a surprise. "I knew you'd be here on time. We have much to discuss." He started to walk down the stairs as he talked. "Archcanon Saryoni wishes us to work together to learn more about whatever Daryon has planned. He has ordered us to travel to Ghostgate. Once there, I am to open sealed instructions from Lord Vivec." They were now walking along the waterfront section of the Temple canton. "And what has your Grandmaster told you?"
02-28-2010, 09:54 AM
"Ebonheart?" Shana said, surprised. "What a coincidence. I was headed there myself..." she paused for a moment, contemplating. "Tell me more about this Nord... I need some details before I can agree to your proposal."
Shana was weary about dealing with this Imperial, but something told her there was something more hiding behind this simple guide request...
Kain walked with Nerethi along the waterfront section of the Temple Canton.
"He gave me permission to do as I wish, and that's all I needed. He did not have any more information on Daryon, did not know him that well, it seems."
"So you told the Archcanon about me... and he agreed for you to work with me? That surprises me. Compromises are not typical of your Temple. I am glad at least things worked out this way."
He looked at the sealed letter the Ordinator held in hand. "Do you have any idea what might be written there?"
02-28-2010, 10:06 AM
Caius smiled politely and kept his answer vague. He hadn't realized Ashlanders were so curious. And that wouldn't do at all. "I'm afraid I can't tell you much about him, as I only know a little. Lets say a wealthy employer has asked that I track him and find out why he's come to this island." He continued to keep a forced smile on his face.
Nerethi waved his hand dismissively. "Even the Four Corners of the House of Troubles serve as tests for the faithful. Cooperation with daedra is not unheard of in the temple. And Lord Vivec's wisdom will become clear in time. Until then we will follow the orders I have been given. Do you object to leaving tonight?"
02-28-2010, 10:18 AM
Shana could see the forced smile on the Imperial's face. He probably had the same thoughts about her as she had of him. But he needed her, and she liked that. People who owed you favors were sometimes more valuable than Septims.
The Ashlander women smiled. "Very well then. And if this mysterious employer of yours is so wealthy, I am sure a more considerable payout is in order." She smirked.
"Not at all." Kain said. "We can leave right now. The sooner, the better."
He looked at an Ordinator guard in the distance, approaching them step by step. Kain turned to Nerethi. "Let's go. This place makes me uncomfortable."
02-28-2010, 10:22 AM
Caius let out the breath he was holding. "Excellent. As I said, I have three hundred drakes in payment. We'll start tonight, the first step to following this man is locating him."
Nerethi shrugged. "Very well. Then I suggest we start walking to the silt strider. From there we can travel to Balmora, and then walk to Ghostgate."
02-28-2010, 11:08 AM
"As you wish." Shana played the obedient guide. "On one condition..."
The Imperial was silent.
"You look like an officer of the Imperial Legion. Once this business is completed, you will help me with a rather... delicate matter in the city of Ebonheart. Do you agree?"
02-28-2010, 11:34 AM
Caius nodded and extended his hand. "Agreed."
02-28-2010, 11:41 AM
Shana shook the hand, courteously replying "My name is Shana. It's a pleasure to meet you."
02-28-2010, 11:46 AM
"Caius Aurelias, Champion of the Imperial Legion." He handed over a purse of gold coins. "I heard that this Nord was seen in the underworks. Do you have sneak skills?" He asked.
02-28-2010, 11:48 AM
Shana was glad she had rogue training.
"When necessary, yes. What plan do you have in mind?"
02-28-2010, 11:52 AM
"Its simple. We'll go down there. He should be easy enough to spot, then its simply a matter of following him. And I have a few... tricks that may come in handy." He pointed to a shimmering amulet he wore. "But he advised that this job may require several weeks and some intensive traveling."
02-28-2010, 12:07 PM
"Several weeks?" Shana asked rhetorically. She sighed softly. "Very well, I'm ready. You lead the way."
02-28-2010, 01:45 PM
They were down in the underworks looking around just fifteen minutes later. It was quiet, apart from the sound of water lapping on the sides of the canal. Caius stepped out and looked around carefully. It was deserted. He walked softly to the connecting tunnel, and walked through toward the other side, with Shana following.
He peeked out again. It was still and empty as well. But there was a door set into the wall. He motioned for Shana to wait concealed. "I'm going to go in there and look around."
Shana lifted an eyebrow. "Do you think they'll just let you walk in?"
"No, even better. I'm going to knock, and they'll let me in. Now hide."
Caius walked over to the door. He knocked on it once, and quickly pulled out the amulet he had showed earlier. With only the slightest flicker he disappeared. And only a half-second after that, the door opened and an Orc stepped out and looked around, clearly puzzled. Not that it took much to puzzle an Orc. And in those few seconds, an invisible Caius entered.
It was a small shrine, only one room. It was dominated by a huge statue of Malacath. Several Orcs were standing around in the room, but Caius' attention was on the Nord kneeling before the statue.
He was clearly ancient. His long white hair made that clear. But he wasn't at all frail or unhealthy, he looked like he could kill a bear with his hands. And judging by the plethora of scars covering his face, maybe he had. But besides the scars, his distinctive feature was an enormous tattoo covering half his face. It was an ornate blue pattern that Caius didn't recognize. His eyes were deep set, and the same color of blue as the tattoo. He was clothed in some type of Nordic armor Caius hadn't seen. It looked to be ice of some sort. But it didn't melt. Clearly it was magical in some way. And attached to his back was a large Nordic claymore.
It was unusual to see a non-Orc worshipping Malacath. But Malacath was the patron of the outcasts. Perhaps there was some deeper reason. Perhaps waiting and listening would reveal everything.
There was a rumbling voice that came forth from everywhere at once. Immediately the Orcs fell to their knees and bowed to the statue. "Why have you summoned me mortals?" It asked. And then it seemed to notice the Nord. "Ah, my faithful servant. What do you have to tell me?" The Nord spoke aloud now. "My Lord, I have come to Vvardenfell as you asked. I have met with members of the Sixth House, and they have agreed to accept my assistance. Do you still wish this quest of me?"
The rumbling voice spoke again. "Yes. These Dark Elves must fall. Too long have my own been persecuted here. Once you bring my assistance to Dagoth Ur, the Tribunal will fall. They will not be strong enough to suppress my servants. Now go, and finish your work!" The voice fell silent once more. "Yes my liege! I shall travel to Kogoruhn immediately." The Nord rose and left. Caius followed him outside.
Once the Nord had left, he removed his amulet and reappeared. Then he regrouped with Shana.
02-28-2010, 04:54 PM
Shana waited quietly in the shadows as Caius used some kind of invisibility spell and infiltrated the other chamber.
"What kind of mess have I gotten into this time?" she sighed, "I should have just refused and continued with the Necromancer business in Ebonheart."
She still wondered what made her accept Caius' proposal.
Suddenly, the door opened, and a tall Nord exited the chamber and went straight ahead through the underworks. As she wanted to follow him, Caius appeared in front of her, deactivating the enhancement on his amulet.
"What have you seen?", she asked curiously.
02-28-2010, 05:05 PM
"This is the necromancer I've been looking for. He mentioned his destination while he was in there. I don't know where it is though, I've never heard of it before."
02-28-2010, 05:18 PM
"Wait..." Shana was very confused. "Did you say Necromancer?" Caius looked at her, not knowing exactly what she means. "Does he have a ship in Ebonheart, by any chance?"
02-28-2010, 05:19 PM
"Like I said, he arrived on a ship from Skyrim last week. Why do you ask?"
02-28-2010, 05:26 PM
Shana was now convinced that bad luck followed her everywhere. If a poster was attached to Caius reading "Blade agent here" she wouldn't have stumbled across him as well as she did in the cornerclub. She smiled to herself for a bit, shaking her head in pseudo-denial.
"You're the Blades agent, right? The one Cosades sent to track down the Necromancer. The Thieves guild spoke of you to me before embarking me on the same damn mission as you."
She remarked Caius' surprised expression as he heard those words.
02-28-2010, 05:32 PM
Caius' jaw dropped. This Ashlander was no simple scout or hunter. He decided to level with her. "Yes. But who are you and how do you know this?"
02-28-2010, 05:39 PM
"Oh... haven't I already said?" she looked at Caius innocently. His surprised expression amused her. "Very well, I'll be honest for the first time in a long while. I am no mere Ashlander tribeswoman. I am a trader working for House Redoran. I need something the Thieves Guild has, and in exchange for it, they sent me on this mission to track a Necromancer in Ebonheart. I do not know what interest they have in him."
She pointed a slender finger at Caius. "And they warned me about you. Who would have thought we would end up on the same side?" she smiled once more.
02-28-2010, 05:43 PM
"I'll need to have a long discussion with my superior over what the Guild knows. Well, I don't see this changing the rest of what we've agreed on. We'll still need to find this necromancer. Unfortunately I have no idea where Kogoruhn is. I hope you do."
02-28-2010, 05:50 PM
"Kogoruhn?" she repeated, an image of the place forming in her mind. "The Unbreakable Home. Yes, I know of it. It is in the far northern Ashlands, souththeast of the Urshilaku Ashlander Camp, and... due east of Falasmaryon. We can leave at once, if you wish. It's going to be a long road through untraveled land, we're going to need supplies first and set up camp in the wilderness more than once until we get there."
02-28-2010, 06:09 PM
"Well, I suggest we head to the nearest town to it and procure some supplies. Time is wasting." Caius set off and started to climb up the ladder. He looked back down. "Come along, this is important."
Nerethi and Kain had reached the silt strider and were booking passage when another pair of figures showed up. An Imperial and a Dunmer.
02-28-2010, 06:13 PM
Kain was disturbed by the strange looks the Dunmer woman cast on him. He lowered his hood even more than usual as he sat closer to Nerethi on the silt strider. He had to be careful. Being detected will place the both of them in danger.
Shana felt a shiver down her spine as she looked at the strange two men who were to be their traveling companions in the silt strider. Especially the strange figure near the Ordinator. He had this aura around him that made Shana uncomfortable. She usually had a sixth sense when people are concerned and they never failed her before. She knew to watch him most carefully.
02-28-2010, 06:16 PM
"Muthsera." Nerethi offered politely to the woman. Anything would be good to stop her from staring too intently at Kain.
Caius sat silently. He wasn't kindly disposed to Ordinators, and the other stranger was too quiet. He didn't like it.
02-28-2010, 06:20 PM
Shana replied courteously to the Ordinator's greeting, with a fake smile on her face, like she did usually with her customers. She enjoyed being in the presence of another Dunmer, but she didn't like Ordinators. They get in the way of her clientele's affairs and their fanaticism made bribes almost impossible. She didn't enjoy dealing with them. It was one of the few cases where she preferred the company of an outlander -- namely Caius, whom she had grown to like -- rather than that of a fellow Dunmeri.
02-28-2010, 06:26 PM
The woman smiled. But Nerethi knew it was fake. There was something suspicious about these two. But he couldn't quite put his finger on it, so he decided to let it go. He leaned back in his seat and waited for the trip to end.
02-28-2010, 06:34 PM
Daryon was bored. Something that happened to him quite often. He went back and forth to the far edges of the stronghold room, his right leg making a mechanical sound as he took every step.
"What the hell is he doing? What's taking him so bloody long!?" he asked himself, while taking occasional puffs from his pipe.
After a while of waiting, a servant informed him that his contact has arrived at Kogoruhn and is at the main entrance as they speak.
"Excellent. It's about damn time." Daryon thought as he took a seat, pretending to be absorbed in a very important matter.
02-28-2010, 07:03 PM
Kjol Whitebeard stepped down from the stronghold's propylon. It was a convenient piece of technology. His trip could have taken days, even weeks, without it. But he had arrived in Kogoruhn quickly and uneventfully.
He was met by one of the Sixth House's "dreamers" and escorted to Daryon's chambers. He entered the room and closed the door behind him, shutting out the howling wind and the blight storms.
Daryon was seated at the table looking at some sort of paper. Kjol walked over and sat in the opposite chair without a word.
02-28-2010, 07:10 PM
Daryon pretended to ignore the Nord for a few minutes longer. He loved doing that, gave him an air of superiority. And Kjol was in his domain after all.
He raised his head and met the Necromancer's fixed gaze. With a smirk, Daryon shouted:
"Ahhh... my Nordic ally has arrived."
The Nord did not seem impressed.
Daryon slowly rose, grabbing his wooden cane for support as he walked near him, limping.
"Since you're here, I trust the matter with the Malacath-worshipers is settled? They have agreed to help us, right?" he stared at the Nord with his usual mad look, waiting for an answer.
02-28-2010, 07:12 PM
"My Lord Malacath has ordered me to assist you in toppling the false gods." The Nord's voice was disinterested. "They have prevented his worship for too long, and he seeks retribution. I am his vessel for revenge."
02-28-2010, 07:15 PM
"Right right right." Daryon rolled his eyes. "Listen, the plan goes like this: you help us in deactivating that damned fence surrounding Red Mountain. The blight spreads, our powers grow, Dagoth Ur is happy, your Big Orcish Deity-ish Daddy is happy, and we'll all throw a party on the graveyard where our enemies will be buried. Rounds on me. Alright?"
02-28-2010, 07:19 PM
The Nord glared. This Dark Elf had a tendency to be too light and use humor. "That is not enough. We must destroy Ghostgate as well, crush the false gods' forces. This will shatter the people's belief in them. They will return to their true Gods." He paused. "Or to you." He added as an after-thought.
02-28-2010, 07:22 PM
Daryon sighed. "Unnecessary. If the blight spreads, so will the corprus monsters. Once the gates are down, it is only a simple matter of sending them to eat brains at Ghostgate. Trust me when I say there is no better way to lower the enemies' morale than making them watch as their comrades are... defiled." perverted scenes crossed Daryon's mind. He smiled wickedly.
02-28-2010, 07:24 PM
"So be it. But Malacath's servants will join the fray as well, to show the power of a true God." The Nord clearly meant that as the final word on the subject. "Now I presume you have quarters for me, and a place to work?"
02-28-2010, 07:26 PM
"Yes, of course." he waved his free hand at the Stronghold map displayed on the wall. "Take your pick, really. Most of the fellows here like sleeping in the caverns below, with the Ash Vampires. We have enough free rooms that would suit your... crafts." Daryon verbally underlined the last word.
02-28-2010, 07:34 PM
Shana had fallen asleep during the journey to Balmora. It proved to be a boring one. She gave up watching the hooded stranger some time ago. He was so silent, not moving a muscle. It wasn't worth it observing him any longer.
Once the Silt Strider has arrived, Caius woke her up and they walked down the stairs after paying the Silt master for the service. She noticed that the Ordinator and the mysterious man remained behind to talk for a while.
02-28-2010, 07:34 PM
After a few minutes of examining the plans Kjol settled on a large bedroom and larger attached area on the top floor of the stronghold, withe easy access to the roof. Now there was only one thing remaining to make his stay complete.
"Tell me Daryon, is there a tomb nearby? I require some corpses for my craft."
02-28-2010, 07:37 PM
Daryon shook his head. "Now, now, don't get me into trouble. I already had enough bickering with Master Gares. You may not know, but we usually despise the undead... and those who work with them, including vampires and Necromancers. So I suggest-"
The Nord stared at him with an angry look. There was a certain vicious fury in his eyes.
Daryon sighed "Very well, the caverns below have many... corpses. Just don't let a lot of dreamers see you, alright? I'm sick of having my head on the line."
"Blasted bloody ungrateful necromancer." Daryon thought the latter as he returned to the table.
02-28-2010, 07:39 PM
Nerethi stretched his legs gratefully as he stepped off the silt strider. He looked out on Balmora. It had been two years since he'd been here, and then he'd been with Dralora. The memories started to rush back uncontrollably. He stifled them and locked up his pain. He looked to Kain. "We should stop here for the night. Do you have any suggestions on where to stay?"
Caius walked down the steps with Shana, passing the Ordinator and shadowy figure. As long as they were in Balmora, it would be a good idea to discuss the situation with Cosades. And find out why the Thieves Guidl was interested in the Nord necromancer.
02-28-2010, 07:45 PM
Kain saw Nerethi was uncomfortable being here, but he did not knew why so he didn't insist.
"Well..." Kain said, pausing to recall his last trip to Balmora three months ago, "We can stay in one of the more expensive hotels, but where we take more risk to be watched, or we can take the Locky Lockup Cornerclub. It's cheap and the locals usually don't ask questions. It's quite the shady place."
Shana stopped Caius along the bridge connecting the East side of the City to the West one.
"So what do you intend to do? I've stayed at the Locky Lockup last time I was here, we could rent rooms for the night. It is also a place for the Thieves Guild to gather. I can get more details for you, if you think it will help."
02-28-2010, 07:50 PM
Nerethi shrugged. "The last time I was here was two years ago. We- I stayed in the Council Club. But I suppose they wouldn't serve you. And we don't need questions."
Caius nodded. "I think thats best. But right now I think we should have a quick meeting with my superior. I'm sure this conversation will be most informative for us all."
02-28-2010, 07:55 PM
"Yeah, the people at the Council Club would check me out to see if I'm a Dunmer. And we don't want that." Kain said. He took a few steps forward. "Come on, let's get to the west side, the Lockup is in there."
"I am looking forward to meeting the Caius Cosades. I've heard a lot of things about the Spymaster. I wonder how many of them are true." Shana smiled as she followed Aurelias to Cosades' home.
02-28-2010, 09:15 PM
The next afternoon Sket and Basta arrived in Balmora. It had been a difficult night for him and made more difficult when the Ordinators had discovered his escape. He had barely been able to control his urge to kill the bard, and that was made even harder when she began recounting the story of their... first meeting.
"We should stay at the Lucky Lockup, here on the East side. It is where we first met, after all," suggested Basta.
"No. You may, but I shall not. I have to stay at the the South Wall, were the Thieve's Guild is."
"Then I will follow you there."
"YOU CANNOT!" Sket roared. "There are certain... conditions... that I must take care of, and tonight no one -- and I mean NO ONE -- can be anywhere near me. Besides, you might get killed because of me. I was recently banished from the Guild."
"Then why would you go there? If they banished you then they will not want to see you there."
"Because, the only being I have ever had any kind of feelings for is there, and she will give me board, even if I am no longer Guild."
Basta'ana was obviously hurt at the mention of another woman, but he didn't care. She was a silver-tongued witch to him. Rain began to fall, and Sket'thet left the dejected bard for the South Wall Corner Club, not even trying to pay attention to the four words she mumbled after him, "But... I love you."
03-01-2010, 04:39 AM
Kain and Adaves Nerethi sat quietly at a table in the Lucky Lockup. Kain was thirsty and tired, and so was Nerethi, but the latter was silent, lost in thought. Apparently this trip to Balmora uncovered some old, unpleasant memories.
"I should try to distract his attention. It might make him feel better.", Kain thought. Morale was a good thing to have on your side, especially when fighting in darkness, against an entire cult with Mephala-knows-what they had in mind.
"So, tell me...", he broke the silence. "How come you absorb spells so easily? My shuriken's never failed. Not once. When I struck you... you should have died. But you didn't. Is this some sort of holy protection from the Temple?"
Engaging in small talk was not Kain's strong point, but he was curios to know nontheless.
03-01-2010, 04:49 AM
Caius Aurelias gestured to Shana to follow. He climbed the stairs past the South Wall and walked toward the small house. He knocked in the correct pattern and the door opened, and they both entered. Cosades gestured for them to sit at the small table.
"Aurelias, its unlike you to bring visitors here. I presume this is a special circumstance." The spymaster spoke calmly.
Caius Aurelias spoke again. "The Ashlander guide I hired was also looking for this Nord necromancer. Only she was employed by the Thieves' Guild. And the Guild knew about both of us."
03-01-2010, 04:51 AM
Nerethi shook his head in the negative. "I was born under the Atronarch. I absorb most magic cast at me, but cannot regenerate it on my own." He paused for a few seconds and then asked his own question. "What were you doing in that apartment anyway?"
03-01-2010, 05:00 AM
Kain chuckled, though his deep Dremora voice made it look more like a growl. "I guess you might have heard about the attacks in Vivec's waterworks? People being bullied, then conviniently let go to inform people like you that the Morag Tong is doing illegal assassination attempts? That was one of Daryon's schemes. I was sent there to meet an agent of ours, but he was dead when I arrived. Apparently it was a trap. For me. You got involved accidentally. Guess Daryon got luckier than he thought."
03-01-2010, 05:02 AM
"What would Daryon want with the Morag Tong?" Nerethi clearly saw no point to it.
03-01-2010, 05:09 AM
"No idea.", Kain shrugged. "Not even my Grandmaster knows, but you heard Daryon: he hates him. Maybe they had some unfinished business. I can't say."
He paused for a moment.
"Thing is, we've been getting a lot of hits because of it. Most of the Masters in the Tong are starting to see betrayal everywhere. Hopefully my information from the Sixth House shrine cleared some things up."
Kain whispered, almost to himself...
"And to think twelve years ago I was still a Valkyn..."
03-01-2010, 05:31 AM
Nerethi decided asking further questions wouldn't be an intrusion, and would at least keep his mind from wandering. "Why did you stop serving Mehrunes Dagon?"
Caius pointed to Shana. This is my associate she is an Ashlander and Redoran trader. She was also employed by the Thieves' Guild to learn about the necromancer."
Cosades nodded. "I'm not entirely surprised, but still. I'd best hear everything you know right now."
03-01-2010, 05:44 AM
"Backstabbing. The stuff that makes you pause your life for a few seconds and reflect how stupid you were for trusting your 'closest' friends." Kain replied. "In short, after hundreds of years of servitude, I got framed for trying to steal Mehrunes' Razor. A stupid reason, but... the council under Dagon wanted me gone. They said I was a liability. So the Daedra Lord banished me. In a second, all my accomplishments were gone. I was no one. My 'best and most loyal friend' inherited my land and killed all my former followers, as far as I know. I have never been there since."
Kain stared at the chimney, his red eyes burning as they reflected the flames.
"But it doesn't matter. I serve Mephala now. I feel much better here than there. It may not have been such a bad thing."
Nerethi continued to stare at him in silence.
"Yes, Spymaster. It is true." Shana began after clearing her throat to ensure her voice would not betray her feeling of uncomfort. "I am not affiliated with the Thieves Guild, but I have embarked on a task in exchange for something they have and I need. I do not know how they got hold of the information or what they want regarding the Necromancer, but they have warned me of Mister Aurelias here. They said he was an enemy. Apparently, they were wrong. We work quite well together." She smiled at Caius Aurelias.
03-01-2010, 05:49 AM
Nerethi frowned. "I know that feeling. It hurts worst of all when your friend betrays you." He fell silent again, his mind clearly dwelling on the past.
The Spymaster nodded. He could tell Shana was being honest. "Very well. I'll take a second look at security, and have a little discussion with the Guild. But what exactly has the guild promised you?"
03-01-2010, 05:52 AM
"The upper hand in Calderan politics." Shana replied bluntly, trying to avoid the answer. She saw no point in the Spymaster knowing about the Governor and the Diamond mine. After all, what purpose could it serve?
"Why do you ask? If I may inquire..."
03-01-2010, 05:57 AM
"Knowledge is power. And knowing exactly what the Guild has gives me the edge. I don't see any danger to the Empire in this. So I'll do better than just allow you to continue. Go to Fort Moonmoth and the supply officer will provide you with equipment and supplies for your assignment."
03-01-2010, 06:02 AM
Shana looked surprised. She tried to see a catch in all of this, but she couldn't see one.
"Thank you, Spymaster." she replied politely. "Your help in this matter is very much appreciated. If the Blades need anything from an Ashlander or a House Redoran representative, Shana Vidri will be ready to assist." she pointed to herself.
Shana turned to Caius Aurelias, waiting for him to say his goodbyes so they could both depart.
03-01-2010, 07:26 AM
Caius thanked the Spymaster and rose. He and Shana left and set off for the Lucky Lockup. "Now we can get beds for the night."
03-01-2010, 07:33 AM
"So why did you became an Ordinator?" Kain asked Nerethi. "From what I have seen, you mortals often get to choose your jobs, unlike Dremoras who are born with them."
03-01-2010, 07:37 AM
"I come from Great House Indoril. My father was a High Ordinator in Mournhold, in the service of our Lady Almalexia. My mother was a healer in the Temple. When I was still a child I was given to the temple. I received my education there, and was allowed to choose my path when I was a teenager. I chose to be an Ordinator. I was trained and came here. And I have been here ever since."
03-01-2010, 07:41 AM
"Hmm... interesting." Kain reflected on Nerethi's words. "I never had a mother, nor a father. We are just... made. Created by Dagon with the aid of the High Markynaz. Then we are assigned a place, a rank and an occupation."
03-01-2010, 07:43 AM
"So Dagon created your personality? Or did you become who you are?"
03-01-2010, 07:50 AM
Kain thought for a while, before answering. "You know, that's a good question. In the early stages of our existence, we are... blank, so to speak. We just do what is told of us, respect our Master, and so on."
He paused for a few seconds.
"But then something happens. We each... go on our way. We become what we are by experience. We form opinions. The oldest Dremora are obviously the most independent. As for myself... I do not know."
Kain got a little firghtened by the idea of not knowing himself.
"What do you think?" he asked Nerethi, "Do our souls make us who we are or are they just the canvas for life's experiences, that shape our inner beings?"
03-01-2010, 07:53 AM
"I think that you're more like us than you think. When we are born, we are blank slates. Over years we grow to become what we are. Its the journey that matters, not the start or the end." His gruff voice fell silent and he let his words sink in.
03-01-2010, 07:59 AM
"You may be right." Kain ultimately spoke after a while of contemplation.
"You know, sometimes I wonder if all this is-..."
The words froze in his mouth as he saw the Lockup's door opening and two familiar figures emerging in the large room. He quickly signaled Nerethi to be silent and whispered:
"Look behind you. The door."
Shana stepped into the Locky Lockup and sat at a chair near the bar. She let Caius do the renting, as she was too tired to bother. She cast a look around the room and saw... the two persons who accompanied them in the Silt strider. The Ordinator fellow... and the other one. She could see him better from a distance. Fiery eyes burning from below the hood, staring at her.
She felt another shiver down her spine as she silently alerted Caius -- who was too concentrated on counting drakes to notice -- about their new company.
03-01-2010, 08:16 AM
Nerethi turned slightly in his chair and pretended to look at the band playing. He was actually subtly gazing at the newcomers. He lingered for a few seconds and turned back. "I think we're being followed."
Shana elbowed Caius and he looked up. "What?" he asked, and then he realized that sitting at a table were the two others from the silt strider. "Its probably just a coincidence Shana, don't worry about it."
03-01-2010, 08:29 AM
"You read my mind." Kain said in reply. "What do you think we should do with them?"
"I don't like this." Shana said fearfully. "The way that fellow looks at me..." She grabbed Caius' arm. "Let's hurry to our rooms."
03-01-2010, 08:40 AM
"Lets have a little word with them in private. The last thing I want is for us to be followed." He stopped and looked again. They were standing up and heading upstairs. "This is our opportunity. Give them a few seconds lead before we follow."
03-01-2010, 08:41 AM
"Do you have legal jurisdiction in Balmora?" Kain asked the Ordinator. "We could use the law on our side this time."
03-01-2010, 08:43 AM
"The Temple has jurisdiction over all of Vvardenfell. Don't worry."
03-01-2010, 08:49 AM
"Excellent." said Kain smirking, his confidence has grown. "And if things get dirty, I'll provide ourselves a writ or two."
Caius and Shana reached the top floor. A small hallway with doors. Their rooms were one near the other, two chambers at the end of the hall. Shana hurried to her's, plunging the key into the lock. Suddenly, she saw the two men at the other end of the hall, like they were stalking her. She opened the door and wanted to hurry in, but the Ordinator demanded her to stop. She froze. Caius looked suspiciously at the two strangers and went ahead of Shana to greet them.
03-01-2010, 08:52 AM
Caius approached the Ordinator casually, ready to reveal his Legion identity and the armor under his robe.
Nerethi held up his hand in a motion demanding the Imperial stop. "Hold it there scum. Who are you two and why have you been following us?"
03-01-2010, 08:57 AM
Shana tried to stay in the back, but was quickly approached by the stranger she feared the most. Her heart was filled with fear. She readied her invisibility spell in mind, just in case she needed to make a quick escape. Just in case...
"Who do you work for?" Kain asked the Dunmer woman bluntly. He frowned at her intimidatingly. The woman stuttered "W-what are-".
He opened his robe to reveal the black armor and the deadly katana on his belt, accompanied by the two silver daggers.
"It would be in your best interest to tell me."
03-01-2010, 09:01 AM
Nerethi let his hand rest on his scimitar. He gestured with his shield for the Imperial to stand against the wall besides the woman. The Imperial complied. "Who are you?" He demanded again.
Caius complied and stood by Shana with his back to the wall. Before he could speak, Shana started to panic over the second man.
03-01-2010, 09:07 AM
Shana lost her cool.
"Y-you can't hold us like this! You have no right! We are... we are honorable citizens. What you're doing here is sequestration of persons!" she looked at the maskless Ordinator in the eye, trying to avoid the robed man's gaze, that mortified her.
"Oh, I'm afraid both me and my associate come from very legal organizations, missy. And guess what? We don't like spies sent to follow us." said Kain.
03-01-2010, 09:16 AM
"He's right. Now give us some answers and you might be able to leave here freely. Otherwise things won't be so pleasant for you." Nerethi put on a fake smile. "Now who are you, and why are you following us?"
03-01-2010, 09:21 AM
Shana was horrified just by looking at the robed man. His face, or at least what portion could be seen, was black. Ash black. And his nose... not a normal one clearly. Had a very... inhuman shape to it. And those eyes... those demonic eyes.
Caius looked at her. Shana could tell he was expecting her to do the talking, as she was more eloquent, but right now she couldn't say a word. She gestured to him to begin.
03-01-2010, 09:35 AM
Caius was surprised. Normally Shana was eloquent under any pressure. But now she was speechless. He decided to provide the answers. He took off his robe and revealed his armor. "My name is Caius Aurelias, Champion of the Imperial Legion. This is my associate, Shana Vidri of Great House Redoran. We haven't been following you either, we are headed to Al Ruhn and stopped here for the night."
Nerethi was willing to accept the Imperial's answer as the truth, but he turned to Kain to see the dremora's opinion.
03-01-2010, 09:47 AM
"Oh, really?" Kain asked, rhetorically. "I wonder how many Ashlanders are part of the Great Houses these days."
Shana looked at him, overwhelmed by surprise.
"That necklace of yours. You aren't fooling me."
03-01-2010, 09:54 AM
Caius spoke up in Shana's defense. "She is a trader with the House. I can guarantee that."
03-01-2010, 10:02 AM
Kain smirked. His look shifted back and forth between Caius and Shana. Ultimately, he said: "Very well. Go to your rooms. But I'm warning you: if I find out you two are up to no good against us, the aftermath will be far less pleasant. For you."
He turned to Nerethi. "Let's go to my room. I want to talk to you."
03-01-2010, 10:03 AM
Nerethi nodded and followed Kain, staring at the two as he left.
They entered the room and Nerethi locked the door behind them.
03-01-2010, 10:08 AM
"I don't like this." Kain said. "They might very well be spies, but on the other hand, we can't bust them that easily."
After a while of thinking he said. "I have a plan. That Imperial guy said they were going to Ald Ruhn, right?"
Nerethi nodded affirmatively.
"This time we will follow them to the Silt strider and see which place they book passage to. I highly doubt they're going where they say they are."
"What do you say?"
03-01-2010, 10:23 AM
Nerethi replied. "I think that will work. You have more experience at stealth than I do, and I don't exactly blend in. You should follow them. I'll obtain some food for the trip to Ghostgate while you do that."
Caius escorted Shana to the room and had her lie down. He sat in the chair, and after a few minutes of silence spoke. "What is it about that man that had you terrified?"
03-01-2010, 11:40 AM
Shana was sitting on the bed, still party in shock. In her childhood, she visited Daedric Ruins and was quite familiar with them... and their less than pretty inhabitants.
The Imperial raised his head and met the gaze.
"That man... that robed... thing. He's not a normal person. I think he's... I think we just met a lesser Daedra."
03-01-2010, 11:44 AM
"Well, I suppose its possible. But what would a Daedra and an Ordinator be doing together?" Caius took this in stride. In his years he'd seen all kinds of things, it would take a lot more to concern him. This just piqued his interest.
03-01-2010, 11:52 AM
"He's no ordinary Dremora." Shana continued. "I've seen a lot of normal ones in the past, this one... I think he is independent. He doesn't work under Dagon, he doesn't act like one that does. For some reason he... scares me. To the bone."
03-01-2010, 11:57 AM
"I don't see why he should frighten you, especially if he isn't serving a Daedric Prince. I'm more concerned that he is with an Ordinator. Perhaps that wasn't a real Ordinator."
03-01-2010, 12:02 PM
"Exactly. They are planning something. Rogue Daedra are more dangerous. Nobody knows their affiliation or their interests. And these two seem to believe we are against them for some reason. I propose we rest for a while here then get out of the city fast. I doubt they will follow us to Kogoruhn."
Shana still couldn't get the mental image of the Dremora's eyes out of her head.
"Hopefully they will not..."
03-01-2010, 12:06 PM
"Good." Kain replied to Nerethi's words. "Some food for the trip would do good for my stomach."
"We should rest now. Tomorrow we have a lot of things to do."
03-01-2010, 12:19 PM
"I doubt they'll follow us there. Now try to get some sleep." Caius tried to reassure her. This dremora had her petrified. The more distance between them, the better.
Nerethi agreed. They slept, and at dawn they woke and prepared for the trip.
Nerethi walked out of the Lucky Lockup and went searching for a merchant to buy supplies from. The streets were empty this early and it was quiet. But some merchants would most likely be open. He found a shop and entered. He purchased several loaves of bread and some salted hound meat. He also purchased a few cheap potions. He put the supplies in the satchel he carried, and he stepped outside.
No sooner had he turned the corner, than he heard a sound from behind. It was the unmistakable sound of a crossbow being readied. "Don't move." Someone ordered from behind.
03-01-2010, 02:47 PM
Kain departed the next day for the Silt Strider area, separating from Nerethi, who went to purchase necessary supplies.
Positioning himself below the platform, he posed as a beggar to passers by, keeping his eyes and ears open. As he saw Shana and Caius approach and stop near the stairs, he started to eavesdrop.
Shana was feeling better this morning. The nightmares about a certain childhood event concerning a rogue Daedra had passed, though she still felt uncomfortable being in the city.
"We will need to travel to Maar Gan, first. Have you heard of it? It is a temple town in the far Northen Ashlands. After that, I will walk you south, through the mountains, until we reach the Urshilaku Camp. Ashlanders do not usually like outlanders, but in your case they will make an exception, you are with me, after all."
Caius continued to listen.
"After that, we will travel east, to Falasmaryon, then south east to Kogoruhn. We do not posses indexes for the teleportation devices, unfortunately, so we have to walk by foot. Is the plan alright with you?"
"Kogoruhn?" Kain thought. "I was right. The damn bastards have lied to us. Though they do not seem to be in league with our enemy."
"I must tell this to Nerethi at once.", he decided. "We must get to Ghostgate and open that letter to see what Vivec wants, but we'll also have to keep in mind this Kogoruhn location. It can be crucial."
He departed to the Lucky Lockup and entered Nerethi's room. It was vacant.
"He's probably still shopping. I arrived early.", Kain thought without worry. He sat on a chair, waiting for his friend to arrive...
03-01-2010, 03:27 PM
The person behind him kept the crossbow trained on his back. "Don't try anything Ordinator. Now come along quietly." They walked quietly through the streets and passed the silt strider. Then they turned and entered a building. It was the Council Club.
They continued down to the bottom storage area. Then they stopped. "You can sit on that barrel." Nerethi did as he was told. There were three Dunmer in the room watching him. Two held loaded crossbows. The other was unarmed. All wore covers over their faces. One reached over and took his scimitar. The unarmed one started to ask questions.
"Who are you and why did you come to Balmora?"
"I am Adaves Nerethi, Disciple of the Temple. I was only passing through here."
The interrogator clearly didn't believe it. "Ordinators don't patrol Balmora. Someone sent you here to investigate us."
Nerethi shook his head. "No. Archcanon Saryoni ordered me to visit Ghostgate. I stopped here for the night."
"I still don't believe you. No, I bet the Thieves' Guild paid off someone to send you here. Don't deny it."
Nerethi decided to lay his last card on the table. "This is the Council Club. The Publican will recognize me."
The interrogator looked confused. "Why would he?"
Nerethi sighed. "Because I stayed here two years ago. He'll remember me."
The unarmed man left the room and a few minutes came down with the Publican, Banor Seran. The Publican stared intently at him for a full minute. "Yes, I recognize him. He was a memorable visitor. Nerethi, isn't it? Adaves Nerethi."
The thugs seemed to take this as a measure of trust, and they lowered their weapons.
Seran spoke again. "Yes. Thats it. But where's Dralora? Never mind that though. I'm sure she can't always be with you."
Nerethi gritted his teeth and stayed silent.
The first thug spoke again. "I'm sorry about this. The Camonna Tong needs to be careful to survive. But we share the same goals as you. Neither of us likes outlanders. And we both have devotion to ALMSIVI." He handed back the scimitar. "I hope you don't have any hard feelings about this."
Nerethi shrugged. "None. But time is pressing. I must leave." The unarmed thug held out a staying hand. "No objection from us, but I do have a little favor to ask." Nerethi looked at him expectantly. "What?" "If a few... accidents... happen to Simine Fraline's store in Vivec, don't rush to investigate them."
The masked Dunmer moved politely out of the way now, and Nerethi started to walk out. Seran followed him up to the door. "Here's a bottle of the best for the road. Give my regards to Dralora." He handed over a bottle of Cyrodillic brandy. Nerethi put it in the satchel silently. "Dralora is dead." He walked out the door, wincing at his own admission.
The publican stood in the doorway. "Well thats just a shame, hate to lose a fine woman."
03-01-2010, 03:37 PM
Kain has fallen asleep on the chair as he was waiting for Nerethi. He hasn't slept well in a long way. The intensity of emotions these past days offered took it's toll.
He woke up hearing the door being opened. Kain rose and put one hand on the katana, just in case. But it was no need to worry.
"There you are." he said to Nerethi, as he stretched his hands. "What took you so long?"
03-01-2010, 03:43 PM
"I had a little run-in with the Camonna Tong. They were concerned over my presence here, but fortunately a certain Publican remembered me from before." He changed the topic too quickly. "I have the supplies. Now lets go."
03-01-2010, 03:46 PM
"Wait. I have something to tell you first.", he held Nerethi from departing. "My fears were correct. Our two little acquaintances don't intend on going anywhere near Ald Ruhn."
Nerethi raised an eyebrow.
"They are traveling as we speak to a place called... Kogoruhn. I don't have much info about it. Does it ring any bells?"
03-01-2010, 03:51 PM
Nerethi's inhaled sharply at the mention of it. "It is the birthplace of the devil. The ancient seat of House Dagoth. No one will even go near it." A chill ran up his spine. "If they want to go there we should stay far away from them."
03-01-2010, 03:54 PM
"Alright. It's their funeral, then. It didn't seem to me they were on the same side as House Dagoth. Oh, well..." Kain said resigning.
"Let's go to Ghostgate and see what that letter says. It's been staying sealed for too much time already."
03-01-2010, 04:24 PM
"Agreed. Now lets go."
They left the city from the main gate, and then turned left. Within fifteen minutes they'd reached the foyada mamamea, popularly nicknamed "highway to hell." And at the end was Ghostgate.
By noon they'd passed a Daedric ruin on the path, and Nerethi sat down on a log. "Lets stop for a meal." He pulled the food out of his satchel and distributed it. He paused as he ate his loaf of bread.
"Tell me Kain, why does this mean so much to you?"
03-01-2010, 04:31 PM
Shana and Caius were camping somewhere near Maar Gan. The small village did indeed have an inn, but they decided it was better if they got accustomed to sleeping rough. It was night, the campfire glowed, shyly lightning the small area around it.
Shana was supposed to sleep as they had to start the journey south early, but something kept her from sleeping. Thoughts wandered in her mind. About all this, and the abruptness with which it all started. Was a Diamond mine worth risking her life for? But no, it was something other than the mine, or the Guild, or Caldera, or House Redoran. The shadows protected something far more sinister than the machinations of a corrupt governor. She was reminded of the Dremora, and quickly dismissed the image from her thoughts, deciding to concentrate on the surroundings.
The Ashlands, she felt the call of the wilds. It has been so long since she had been out here in the open, feeling the strong wind against her face, or the ground beneath her feet. It was home. She felt it as she gazed upon the clouded night sky.
Shana noticed that Caius was looking at her. Normally she would feel her xenophobia kicking in, but not with him. Not now. Caius was the only outlander she felt close to. She appreciated his help during their tight situation with the Ordinator back in Balmora. She appreciated his trust and his loyalty.
"Something on your mind?" she asked plainly. She didn't mind conversation. Not in Caius' case.
03-01-2010, 04:34 PM
"Just wondering about you. Here we are working together, and I really know nothing about you." Caius poked a log in the fire with his shortsword.
03-01-2010, 05:00 PM
"It doesn't." Kain replied bluntly. He noticed the surprised expression on the Ordinator's face, so he felt compelled to give details, but not after sinking his teeth into a piece of bread and chewing on it slowly to quench the feeling of hunger.
"My life doesn't have a purpose, Nerethi. It never did." he looked at the clouds forming up in the distance. Darkness will soon envelop the skies. "I've been thinking about what you said, and I believe that I am in fact different from other races. If I sit and think deeply on myself, I do not have any preferences or hobbies outside of those set by my masters or the organization of which I am part of. I am not a person outside of them."
Nerethi continued to look at him.
"If Eno Hlaalu wouldn't have found me and recruited me into the Morag Tong, I would have been still a beggar running through the streets of a city or through the hills of a village, doing chores, received beatings and insults. Now I am an assassin. I have learned much skill from my peers, I became Exalted Masters, I am one of the most feared Assassins in Morrowind. But what difference does it make? Have I changed?"
Kain lowered his head, looking at the ground. "No... I am still running errands, I am still facing danger, I am still working for someone other than myself. If Dagon hadn't exiled me... I would be the same. The inner things never change. Just the context in which they exist."
Kain ended his speech. "I have no meaning. There is nothing else."
Shana chuckled. "I was feeling the Ashlands around me. It's been a long time since I could come out here. I missed them."
She took a deep breath and exhaled before continuing. "Sometimes I wish I wouldn't have left the tribe, lived a simple life, but those moments of regret pass away as I look at the real world. At the politics and schemes of the factions, be they commercial, religious, military... we need to defend ourselves from them. My people need someone like me, and I guess I made a sacrifice of sorts."
She waved a hand above the fireplace, feeling the heat as it touched her smooth palm.
03-01-2010, 05:25 PM
Nerethi swallowed the piece of hound meat he had been chewing. "Maybe you just haven't found who you are yet. It was the same way with him. He was a commoner you know, married into House Indoril. One day when he was tending the gardens in Mournhold he realized who he was. He stopped trimming the hedges and he walked into the temple. He said 'let me be an Ordinator,' and he became one. Maybe your moment simply has yet to come." He chewed on his bread. "And its a good thing my father did that, otherwise he never would have met my mother in the temple. It was actually similar to when I first met Dralora, I-" He fell silent and stopped eating. "Nevermind."
Caius smiled. For the three years he'd been in Morrowind he'd never felt comfortable. The terrain had been too unlike Cyrodil, and the Dark Elves had been too grim and stoic. But Shana was different. Easy to talk to and easy to get along with.
"What are your people like?" He asked.
03-01-2010, 05:59 PM
"I wish it were like you say... that I have not found my purpose yet. But that might be fitting for those born, not for me. I was created to be a slave, and my shackles bear with me even in the farthest exile. It is who I am. It is my blessing and my curse. What keeps me going and devours me from the inside."
Kain shifted his weight, and sighed. "My Animus will be damned after my bodily death. Mephala cannot take me in even if she wants to. I am simply of another crafting. There is no place for me in this universe. I just have to live my life how it is and... I don't know."
He turned to Nerethi. "But don't worry. I won't let these thoughts disturb my attention. I will fight alongside you and shed blood together with you until the last drop."
Shana laughed. "The Ashlander in me is tempted to tell you only the bright side." She played with her necklace as she talked. "I love my people. Despite the persecution and hostilities, they have kept their culture strong and their traditions alive. They are not ashamed of who they are... and will never renounce it, never bow down in front of a stronger force just because they demand it."
Shana looked away, her piercing crimson eyes avoiding eye contact with Caius'. "But the dangers of this world has made most tribes bitter towards outsiders, even to non-Ashlander Dunmer. Our ways of life seem so different from yours, and to those who remain with the tribe all their lives... they are."
She shook her head and looked at Caius. "What about you? You're not doing so bad yourself." she pointed at his shining Imperial Armor. "An officer of the Imperial Legion and a Blades Agent... quite a combination. What is the story behind it?"
Shana crossed her legs, sitting comfortably near the fire, ready to listen.
03-01-2010, 06:31 PM
Nerethi looked at Kain again. "Do not sell yourself short. You are what you make of yourself." He looked at the distant shape of Red Mountain. "We should go now if we want to make it there by nightfall." He lifted up his gear and started to walk again.
Caius leaned back on the bedroll and supported his head with his hands. "Well, there's nothing especially interesting. I was born in Cyrodil, outside the Imperial city. My father had served in the Legion. And his father, and his father's father. So it was considered tradition in the family, a necessary part of an education. So they sent me into the Legion and I was sent here. So once I finish my tour here, they'll probably want me to join the civil service at home. And get married."
"Its not something I've ever thought about."
03-01-2010, 07:30 PM
Basta sulked inside of the Lucky Lockup. All of the rooms had been rented out and she couldn't go to the South Wall. Nor could she go next door to the Council Club. She sat silently in the corner, plucking a few of the strings on her lute along with the band already playing. Suddenly one of her strings broke, and with it Basta'ana broke into tears, sliding down her face, already wet from the rain. She curled up into a ball and fell asleep. The bartender went over to tell her to leave, but heard her laments as she slept, and instead helped her out of her soaked robe and covered her in a warm blanket. She slept through the entire thing, whispering over and over again, "I love you."
Morning broke over Balmora and with the sun rose Sket'thet. It was almost a disaster the night before. As soon he stepped in everyone tried to kill him. Fortunately the only two Khajiit there stepped in to defend him. Habasi ended up helping set up his room, locking it both inside and out to make sure that no body could get in or, more importantly, out.
It was a hellish night, and the silencing spells he placed on the door barely kept the hideous sounds within. A few members of the Guild heard what sounded like howls, but dismissed them when they didn't occur any time later.
After Sket had a long farewell with the two Khajiit, he stepped outside. But something wasn't right. Something was missing. Sket's ears perked as the sound of a lute came from around the corner, but it was just a child playing with a cheap novelty. "Could it really be that I'm feeling bad for that witch?" he asked himself, surprised. He surprised himself even more when he realized that he could answer, "I am. Damn it. Well, I'd better go and apologize."
Before he could really go anywhere, Habasi stepped out of the South Wall and called to him. She was carrying a large, clanking bundle. "Wait, Sket'thet!" she called.
"It was going to be for when you became true thief in Guild, but stupid Jim Stacey ruined that. I thought why let such a gift that took so long to... acquire... go to waste. It was for you, it still is for you. Please, try it."
Sket opened the bundle to see a set of Ebony armor. A full set, with a peculiar piece that he'd never seen before. "What is that?" he asked.
"It is custom armor," Habasi replied. "Ordered straight from Mournhold. It is designed to cover paws of Khajiit comfortably. Look. It also has enchantments."
Sure enough, all of the armor had a sheen on it that proved every bit was magically enhanced. "What does it do?"
"The coverings for the paws cast a silence to help you sneak along; the gauntlets help you steal and pick the locks easier, as well as disarm the traps; the greaves provide invisibility; the curiass casts feather as long as you are wearing it. The helm is most special, though."
Sket saw that it, too, was custom designed for a Khajiit, and something... different.
"The helm increases mentality," Habasi continued. "Perhaps it will help you next time the red moon is full." She then unfolded the rest of the bundle to reveal a beautifully crafted Ebony Longsword and shield, both with enchantments of their own. "The sword will briefly paralyze your opponents even if they block, but will be less effective if so. The shield absorbs physical damage. This is all Habasi can do for you." The Khajiit Mastermind gave Sket a quick peck on the cheek. "Use it well," and she disappeared back inside of the South Club.
Sket quickly donned the armor and found that it fit quite comfortably. He also noticed that the cloth that the armor had been wrapped in was a new cloak. "She spoils me so much. I'll have to stop by Ra'virr and sell him my old equipment, though. Too much weight to carry by myself and I don't want to burden Basta'ana anymore than I need to." And with that Sket set off to begin his next journey with Basta.
03-02-2010, 06:19 AM
Daryon had been away from the stronghold for a few hours. No particular reason to leave, especially in his condition, but he enjoyed wandering around and form plans in his mind. Daryon preferred the forest to the Ashlands, a faint memory of a more happy time when no one knew of his magick, when no one decided a future for him...
Now he was back in his office, as usual. The trip helped to put his mind at ease, as he thought of something...
"Rilas..." he shouted.
A young Dunmer man entered the room and saluted.
"In Lord Dagoth's name, sir. What can-"
"Bring Kjol to me here. Quickly." he cut the servant's words short. "I need something from him."
The Dunmer bowed and departed to the upper floor of the stronghold.
"But is this what you want?" Shana asked Caius, stressing the word "you". "Or do you do this just out of tradition and sense of duty alone?"
Kain and Nerethi arrived at Ghostgate (http://ui31.gamespot.com/830/ghostgate_2.jpg) just a short time before nightfall. The imposing structure, the gateway to hell, the very thing that separates sanity from madness. Or at least that is how most people in Vvardenfell saw it. The Ghostfence extended to the east and west, across the mountains.
Kain looked at the Two Towers, Dawn and Dusk, and to the Temple structure at the middle.
He turned to Nerethi: "What now?"
03-02-2010, 08:20 AM
Kjol walked into Daryon's office. He was unused to being interrupted in his... work. He'd had to leave it behind unfinished for the moment. And it had been such a nice corpse too. But he could always summon simpler creations if he needed them.
He entered the office and stood there, waiting. "Yes Daryon?"
"I don't really know what I want, Shana. I've done this because its what my family dictated. If I had my own way, I don't know what might have happened. I know I don't want this, but I don't know what I do want." He laughed a little. "I'm probably not making sense anyway."
"Now we go in, and we open the scroll." Nerethi opened the sturdy door and held it politely for Kain. Then Nrethi entered behind him. They climbed the short flight of stairs to the hostel and sat down at a table.
Nerethi reached into his pack and pulled out the scroll. He held it in his hands and gazed at it for a moment, then broke the seal. Then he read it.
Greetings Disciple Nerethi, and to you son of Mehrunes Dagon. You have been chosen since before the dawn of your creations, chosen to fulfill a destiny. You will pave the way for what is to come, this I have seen and can feel. Sides have been taken in the heavens, and you have control of the balance.
Here, so close to the fires of the mountain, you will receive my guidance. Inside the Ghostfence we maintain is the realm of Dagoth Ur. He has grown in strength slowly over the years, and now he stands against ALMSIVI. You cannot destroy him, that fate belongs to another. But you can stand against him. You must strike into his heart, and thwart his plans before he can launch them.
His allies and his servants are powerful. The Lost House has joined with the ostracized. Malacath has chosen this as a test for the Dunmer. He seeks to aid Dagoth Ur through his elect. You must destroy his prophets.
The quest will be challenging. And for this we have made preparations for you both. Lady Almalexia has crafted new armor for you, suited to your skills and needs. Sotha Sil has crafted you special blades from his Clockwork City. And I have provided you each with magical rings which will shield you from blight, corprus, and the spells of Dagoth's minions. You will find these gifts placed in this outpost's vaults. My seal will grant you access.
Now, carry out your crusade. Remember that Morrowind hangs in the balance. Act in the name of ALMSIVI.
03-02-2010, 08:46 AM
"Ah, there you are." Daryon walked towards him, helped by his cane.
"I think we could make use of your... talents to attain much greater heights than creating ghouls and skeletons or whatever it is you are doing up there."
He paused for effect.
"I have an idea. Follow me to the Stronghold vault and I will explain everything."
He gestured towards the door.
"You do make sense, in fact." Shana said "You never had the chance to experience another life, so you don't know what you really want. On the other hand, you do not really enjoy doing this, and you feel that. But you continue because of tradition, and you're doing it well."
"Huh." Kain whispered after hearing Nerethi read the letter. "I didn't realize we were such big shots in this whole mess."
He smiled, thinking of the vault. "The special armor and weapons, though. Now *that* is what I like."
03-02-2010, 08:59 AM
Kjol silently followed Daryon towards the vault. A challenge for his talents might be intriguing, if only intellectually. His last real challenge had been curing his condition.
"Yes," Caius smiled. "Thats it exactly. And I don't even know what it is I want to do." He paused briefly and shifted to his side, so it was easier to look at her. "How did you join the Redoran? And did your family approve?"
Nerethi frowned. "Neither did. Its unsettling to think that even now we may be targets." He shook off his gloomy paranoia.
"These Holy gifts do sound impressive. Should we collect them now?"
03-02-2010, 09:38 AM
Daryon plunged his signet ring into the slot carved into the vault door, and it opened. He invited Kjol inside.
There, in the middle of the room, on a table, lied a body. Dressed in Chitin armor. He was a Dark Elf, long red hair was covering his forehead. His eyes were closed, hands placed on his chest, like before a burial.
Daryon and Kjol approached the table slowly.
"See this cheery fellow, here?" Daryon smirked. "A Buoyant Armiger. Enar Indaram. A most holy knight-errant for that pathetic levitating man-god."
Kjol was still listening, but his eyes were cast upon the corpse. It was frozen somehow, with magick. Not visible, but any mage would feel it. It was kept conserved for a purpose.
"Now... what do you say if you can make our friend here, uh, how should I put this..." Daryon waved a hand in the air, "More lively."
"After that, nobody will ever know he died. Nobody will know his soul has long since departed to whatever blasted place these guy's souls go to. It will be our secret. Who at Ghostgate would suspect their knight died and is controlled by us?"
He put all the weight in the hand holding the cane and leaned towards Kjol.
Daryon cracked a vicious smile. "See what I mean?"
"Yes, they did.", Shana began. "My luck is I come from the Zainab tribe, which had the most contact with outlanders and even done business with them in the past. And not just outlanders, Great Houses too."
"My mother was a trader of sorts. She used to take me along once in a while. I looked forward to every journey. I've been from Hlaalu mansions to Telvanni strongholds to Imperial forts. I learned the different people, studied their ways of thinking and acting, learned how to talk to them, how to persuade them.
House Redoran proved the most difficult for Ashlanders to get into. They are very loyal to the Temple, and the Temple does not like us. But yet, here I am. Even the most holy persons have their weaknesses and secrets. You just need to know where to look."
Kain chuckled. "Heh, why not? This is the best part, right? Getting unique gear. The rest won't be too pretty, unless you count visiting House Dagoth shrines as an 'enlightening' experience..."
03-02-2010, 10:08 AM
A fire blazed in Kjol's eyes. "Yes... it could be done." He examined the body more carefully, it was an excellent specimen. No decomposition at all. "The biggest challenge would be the vocal cords, and the nerves. Yes, it can be done...." He was now lost in thought, and ignored Daryon. What mattered was the body, and the task.
"I suppose that was a blessing for you." Caius yawned. "I think its time for us to sleep now. Tomorrow will be a busy day."
Nerethi and Kain descended the stairs of the tower, and entered the vaults. They passed several guards, but Vivec's seal granted them passage.
Finally they reached the innermost vault. Inside were the gifts. Nerethi examined his. There was a full suit of Her Hand's Armor, worn by the highest Ordinators in Mournhold. On it was a note. He picked it up and read.
Nerethi my child,
Take this armor I have prepared and do battle against the devil. The cuirass will constantly fortify your skills with heavy armor. The boots will levitate at your command. The greaves resist fire, ice, and shock. So do the pauldrons. The shield fortifies your skills at blocking. The gauntlets fortify your agility and your strength. Lastly, the helm will restore your magicka. Keep this armor as a token of my gratitude, and know that when your quest is ended you will have a place under me in Mournhold.
He looked at the weapon now. It reminded him of Dwemer construction, but resembled a sabre. It pulsated with energy. Another note was present.
This weapon was designed by Kagrenac of the Dwemer, but had certain flaws. I have correct them, and now it will absorb your opponents health and restore your own with each blow. Best wishes to you.
Lastly he examined the ring. It was of ornate craftsmanship, and amazing quality.
He turned to look at Kain's gifts.
03-02-2010, 11:48 AM
The innermost vault led Kain's gifts from ALMSIVI.
The Dremora looked first at the weapon. It was like nothing he'd ever seen before. It looked like a scimitar from Elsweyr, but it's design was Dwemer. It was also retractable, the whole blade would retreat into a small hilt to ease concealment by far. He swung around it for a while. It was easy to manouver, light but deadly. He smiled, looking at the beauty of it's craftsmanship. It proudly displayed Sotha Sil's unbeatable skill.
Turning to the armor, he noticed a full set made of Black Glass. It looked like it reflected light completely, like the material was made from the very shadows of space.
Kain touched it, and he could feel energy all over it, pulsating from top to bottom. Like hundreds of unseen layers protecting the armor.
As he held his hand on it's surface, a bond was made. A strange sensation crept over Kain as he noticed the armor apparently disappeared. But he could still touch it...
"Invisibilty!" Kain thought. "I can turn this armor completely invisible by thought alone." He reversed the process, and it became clear to the sight once more.
He also noticed a gray ring, with a "K" engraved on it, but no enhancement could be detected. It's purpose was apparently for decoration... or was it? Kain could not tell.
Unlike Nerethi's gifts, Kain did not receive any notes... but he did not really care at that moment.
03-02-2010, 11:50 AM
Daryon cracked a wicked smile as he saw Kjol's enthusiasm, enthralled by the very idea. The Necromancer inspected the body, absorbed in his thoughts. He became oblivious to Daryon's presence.
"Have fun", the Dunmer said, as he left his ally alone in the dark vault.
03-02-2010, 12:26 PM
Kjol Whitebeard spent two full days in seclusion with his work. No one brought food or water for fear of interrupting him. But his efforts were starting to pay off...
It had been several hours since they had received their gifts, and both were wearing their new armor and weapons. They were sitting quietly at a table in the empty hostel sipping some shein.
Nerethi was thinking silently about the past, as usual. After days of thinking, he'd finally come to a decision. He needed to tell Kain about his past, about what had happened. He took a sip and spoke.
"Kain, I'd like to thank you. You haven't been intrusive or nosey about me at all. You surely must have been curious though, and you kept it quiet. I've been thinking a lot in the past days, and you deserve to know. You'll need to know when we face Daryon again. So, I'm going to tell you about my past... about Dralora."
03-02-2010, 12:59 PM
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. Don't feel obliged." Kain said, shaking his head. "I know you don't want to live in the past, that's why I didn't ask. Besides... it isn't my business, is it?"
He stood silent for a few seconds. "Though I have to admit I'm curios as to what past that sick bastard and you share. And who Dralora is... or was, depending on who you ask."
03-02-2010, 01:13 PM
"I really do want to tell you. I haven't talked about it before. It might be... good to get it off of my chest." He sighed, and started to explain.
"Dralora was my wife. I met her six years ago in Molag Mar. She was an Ordinator there at the garrison. I got lost in the canton and ran into her, literally. We both fell over and lost our helmets. When we saw each other it was love at first sight. I courted her for almost two years before I proposed. We'd both been worried about what our families would say. She came from the House Hlaalu while I was House Indoril. But our parents liked each other, and liked us. We toured most of Morrowind on our honeymoon, and things looked perfect. Too perfect actually. She joined me in Vivec, she'd managed to work out a transfer so we could be together. We lived together for almost three years that way."
Nerethi paused and downed another swallow of the wine. "Then two years ago we were on a mission to clear a Sixth House Base. Thats when Daryon betrayed us. He took her from me. Everyone was killed, and I barely escaped."
Tears started to fill his red eyes again. "The worst thing about it is Daryon. He was at my wedding. Because Dralora's father had lost his leg, he walked her down the aisle in the ceremony. And after that he betrayed us..."
Nerethi trembled for a moment. "Now you know."
03-02-2010, 01:20 PM
"And when did you met Daryon? I can't picture you two as best friends, really..." Kain asked. After all, if Nerethi wanted to tell him, he might as well listen to the end.
03-02-2010, 01:23 PM
"I met Daryon in Mournhold. He's... he's my uncle. My mother's brother."
03-02-2010, 01:27 PM
Kain's jaw dropped.
"You're kidding me...", he still couldn't believe it. "So you-... you know him for a long time?"
"What exactly happened to him? Why did he betray you? I don't think he was batsh*t insane all his life, was he?"
03-02-2010, 01:35 PM
Nerethi nodded. "I knew him since I was a child. He brought me gifts on my birthday. He was always kind and patient before. Sometimes he would talk. He had wanted to study magic, but Great House Telvanni was closed to him, and the Imperial Guild was forbidden. Like my mother, he entered the temple instead. He was an Ordinator as well."
He drank another swig, hoping the alcohol would help ease the pain. "I don't know when he turned. We saw less and less of him over the years. He'd go off on his own to meditate. I know now that he was consorting with the devil. But none of us knew until it was too late. And I of all people should have known. I should have noticed."
03-02-2010, 02:04 PM
"It's not just about the 'devil'." Kain said. "I've met Sixth House members before, they were strange fanatics, but not like Daryon. I've seen his eyes, he's... wrong. Sick. Inside and out. There must be something else that made him like this. The betrayal was just the cherry on top. Dagoth Ur is a pretext for him to manifest his inner... madness."
03-02-2010, 02:06 PM
"We all have the potential. But Dagoth Ur brings it to the surface, it dominates and destroys the person. Daryon has been dead for two years. He's gone."
03-02-2010, 02:47 PM
Sket walked into a quiet Lucky Lockup, closing the door on the morning dew behind him. As the Khajiit shook his feet the owner walked up to him silently.
"You wouldn't happen to be Sket'thet Ardhul, would you?" asked the man.
"Yes, I am. Why?"
The owner pointed toward the corner where a large bundle was steadily moving up and down, a lute with a broken string lying next to it. "She kept saying that name all night, the poor thing. I don't know what you did but it looks to me like it has caused a bad case of a broken heart. Worst I've seen in a long time, and this is from a guy who runs a bar. Be gentle, she'll probably blow up on you when she wakes up. I would've put her in a room, but they were all full."
<Great.> thought Sket, turning his attention back to the bar owner. "Guess I had better go and wake her up then." Sket pulled back his hood to reveal the Ebony helm, leaving the owner to pick up the pieces of his jaw as it hit the floor, and walked over to Basta. "Basta. Basta'ana, wake up. It's morning and if you continue to sleep on the floor you'll never make the trip home."
Sket had taken the time to think hard about his decision while taking the short walk across Balmora. He decided that she, one of the only few beings in this world who cared about him, should know why he acted as he did the night before. He checked the pouch his money was hanging in. <Just enough to make it to Khuul, and then... home.>
It was time he returned to Solsthiem.
03-02-2010, 03:11 PM
OOC: I'm making this post in hope of bringing your two Khajiit closer to the main point of the story. I always enjoy your writings, but apart from a few encounters with Shana and one with Caius, you never added to the storyline much. I'll try to give you a starting point here.
Gentleman Jim Stacey was concerned. Not only one of his Thieves got expelled because of incompetence, but apparently one of his agents whom he tasked with tracking Sket down, reported some very disturbing news regarding the Master Apprentice. Apparently he was a sufferer of a rare condition that was seen somewhere in the white island of Solstheim. A form of Lycanthropy, Sanies Lupinus, commonly referred to as the Werewolves disease.
Normally he would dismiss such reports as bollocks, but this agent never lied to him, so he took all the information as a very probable truth.
He picked up a feather and wrote with ink on a small parchment.
I know what your condition is. If you don't come here in 2 hours, everyone will know what I do. That is to ensure your immediate arrival. It is an order.
- J S"
He placed the note to one of the messengers of the Guild to deliver it to Sket in the Lucky Lockup immediately.
"And Michael," he addressed the messenger. "Call Rasjii here too. I need him here to explain some things to our Apprentice."
03-02-2010, 08:24 PM
OOC: Thanks. I was working on getting them into the story, because going to Solstheim was going to end up becoming a trip to Ghostgate to reveal a bit more of Basta'ana's past, but this will work, too.
As the owner of the Lucky Lockup had predicted, Basta had indeed blown up all over the unprepared Khajiit, never letting him get a single word in until she had let every single wisp of steam flow out of her.
She sat silently as Sket'thet began explaining his plans, "Basta, the way I treated you yesterday was uncalled for. You are one of the few people who truly cares about me, and I often take that fact for granted."
Basta just played with the broken string on her lute as Sket continued, "I shut people out for a reason, and less than a hand-full know the reason why. Sugar-Lips Habasi is one of them."
Basta snorted jealously.
"It's not like that. Habasi isn't related to me romantically, she is like my mother. You see, I am actually from the island of Solsthiem in the north. Home of the Nords. I lost my parents when I was just a kitten, and then I was brought over here as a slave, but not before I was bitten by a... a dog, of sorts. Gah! Who am I kidding. I might as well come out and tell you. I was actually bitten by a wer--"
"Sket'thet!? Sket'thet Ardhul!? Are you in here!?"
"Michael!?" Sket responded angrily and walked over to the messenger. "Dammit, you really do have a bad habit of showing up at the wrong time you know that?"
"Not my fault Fido. Jim's sent you a letter that you may want to read."
"FIDO!? Why I... oh for the love of the Tribunal give me that!" said Sket, snatching the letter out of Michael's hand. "Let's see... Sket, I know... what............"
Basta sensed something was wrong, "Sket? Sket, is everything OK?"
"That basta*d... THAT SON OF A GRAHL!" It had been a long time since anyone had made Sket this angry, and he was glad for the custom armor Habasi had given him, because a moon was not needed now. "Come on, Basta'ana. I'm going to give that Redguard a piece of my mind and then some! And I'll need your help to keep me from killing him. He wants to blackmail me? WELL THEN HE WON'T BE ABLE TO DO THAT WITHOUT BLACKMAILING HIS OWN DAMNED SELF!!"
Sket threw Michael across the room, the unsuspecting messenger hitting his head on the wall and falling unconscious. "We're going back to Vivec. And when I'm done with 'Gentleman' Jim Stacey, he will rather have stared Dagoth Ur in the face and spit on him!"
03-03-2010, 09:43 AM
Finally after almost a week of seclusion, Kjol emerged. And so did the corpse. They both walked into Daryon's office together and stopped in front of his desk. "Well, what do you think?"
The corpse stood in front of the heavy desk. Its balance was perfect, and its muscles rippled correctly for each movement. Its eyes stared blankly ahead though.
"Don't worry about the eyes and the vocal cords. They function, but won't be used until I implant a soul."
03-03-2010, 02:44 PM
Daryon's eyes sparkled at the sight of the walking corpse. He nearly forgot to grab the cane on his way up.
A perfect example of Necromantic craft. On the outside, he was a normal Dunmer, not a sign of undeath. Flawless aesthetics. The mindless gaze was the only thing that gave away, but Kjol's explanation clarified that.
"Perfect..." Daryon remarked. His expression betrayed the excitment.
Daryon opened the drawer at his desk and retrieved a Grand Soul gem. It pulsated with energy.
"Here, this will ease your work on soul infusion." he said, handing the gem to Kjol.
"Most excellent... most excellent..." he said, staring at the Undead Arminger, who continued to look ahead blankly.
"You really intend on giving such a mission to that filthy diseased son of a-"
"Enough, Rasjii. Enough." Gentleman Jim Stacey calmed the angry Khajiit thief down. "Didn't you say you need someone to track Shana down?"
"Yes, but I wasn't thinking of a-"
"Well, he's our best bet right now. I'm not going to risk a member of my Guild on your errands. You should thank me. This was your business, you should have handled it."
Rasjii lowered his head. He wasn't pleased of what the boss intended to do, but in a way, he realized the Redguard was right. He needed to find that Ashlander girl.
They both sat in silence afterwards, waiting for Sket to arrive.
03-03-2010, 02:54 PM
Kjol took the empty gem. "Your contribution is welcome. But now we have to decide what to put in it."
He stood transfixed in thought. What were the options? A dremora? Too independent. An ogrim? Certainly faithful, but too stupid. A scamp? Too dishonest. Its stealing would give it away.
He kept thinking quietly until he discovered the perfect solution. "Daryon, send in one of your ascended sleepers. I need his soul." The icy eyes stared unflinchingly and a small smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.
03-03-2010, 03:36 PM
Daryon froze as he turned around to meet Kjol's icy gaze.
"An ascended..." he babbled, surprised at the Necromancer's proposal. Few things left Daryon speechless, this was one of them.
Uneasy thoughts invaded Daryon's mind. Not only was Necromancy illegal in the Sixth House, but using one of their souls as... Dagoth Ur will have his head. He will have both their heads.
No, he mustn't accept. Daryon shook his head.
He looked at Kjol again. The man before him was the perfect example of pragmatism. The ends justified the means, and the ends were always successful. He was a monster, but a very capable monster and a monster who was on his side.
He shifted his weight. He contemplated. A drop of sweat began coursing on his forehead.
He sighed and shrugged, turning his look from Kjol.
"Rilas..." he yelled towards the door, as the humble servant appeared before him.
"Go to Brother Vilyn." he ultimately said, hesitating "He'll be in the caverns."
"Tell him..." he looked once more at the Nord's wicked gaze.
"Tell him to go to the Vault and... wait."
The servant was confused.
"My associate here needs help on... some matters and our Brother is... ordered to assist him."
"Yes, sir." the servant made a slight bow.
"You can go, too now. I've done what you asked." he dismissed Kjol.
When he remained alone, Daryon returned to the table and placed his right hand on the forehead, reflecting in silence on what he just did.
03-03-2010, 03:46 PM
Kjol silently left the room, the corpse following behind him.
He came back an hour later. This time the corpse was behaving normally. Well, fairly normally. It was talking too.
"See Daryon? It wasn't that hard now, was it?"
03-03-2010, 04:23 PM
He knew Brother Vilyn for a long time. One of the best they ever had. In a few weeks' time, he was to be taken to Red Mountain to start the Corprus transformation. He could have become a Dagoth. It was always his wish to serve the House this way.
Daryon hit the table with his punch. The wood below it make a cracking sound.
Realizing that Kjol was watching, he muttered "Sorry. My leg. The pain is unbearable some times.", but he knew the Nord saw through his lie.
"Alright." he ultimately resigned. "Send him to Ghostgate. We need to see if our 'friends' have arrived there and if they did, we should lead them on the wrong track."
03-03-2010, 04:26 PM
"He'll be on his way in the morning. I've been acquainting him with his objectives, and his past. And with our adversaries. I've also emphasized the need to eat, sleep, and drink. I may have to do this again sometime, its been more of a challenge than I thought. Maybe next time I'll try an Argonian. The scales should preserve the flesh better..." He lost himself in thought again.
03-03-2010, 04:37 PM
Kain and Nerethi spent some days at Ghostgate, asking around for information from the people there. All the loyal servants of the Temple, Imperial Legion as well as adventurers provided useful advice regarding the Sixth House activity. They wrote all of it down on a paper. At night, they gathered to discuss further plans.
"Nerethi, look at this..." Kain showed the Ordinator the name Kogoruhn on one of the lists, as well as the attached text. "It says here that a lof of cultists have got there lately. The place is more fortified than it has ever been. The Buoyant Armigers suspect some sort of underground transportation... hmm..."
Kain paused for a while to think.
"Don't you believe this is a rather convinient coincidence? That the two persons who followed us have also gone there? I think Daryon is there right now. They are planning something."
He noticed a Buoyant Armiger entering the room and sitting on a chair, subtly staring at the two. Nerethi did not observe him, but Kain did.
"No worry," he thought. "I should have gotten used to guardsmen staring at me all the time. This is Ghostgate after all."
He turned to Nerethi to hear his thoughts on the matter.
Shana and Caius finally arrived at the Ashlander camp after a few days of traveling. It was dark now. As dark as it gets. They could see the tents and the big campfire in the middle area.
"Well, here we are." Shana remarked, taking her backpack off and holding it in one hand. "Home."
03-03-2010, 05:07 PM
Nerethi looked at the map intently. "We can't make risky or sudden moves. Kogoruhn can wait for now. We'll need to try something else. Make quick raids into the enclosure. Practice navigating, fighting, traveling inside the blight. Learn more about the enemy, their structures. Who they are." He noticed Kain staring. He looked to. Just another Buoyant Armiger reclining in a chair. He looked back to the map of Kogoruhn. "Those two we met will still be walking for two days or so. Maybe by then we'll be ready to scout it out."
"Home?" Caius asked tentatively. "I thought your tribe was the Zainab?"
03-03-2010, 05:21 PM
"Good idea. We got the information, now to do some field training. I haven't been in a blight since... nevermind."
Kain noticed the Arminger was now standing up and headed towards them. He did a slight bow towards Nerethi. Unusual for an Arminger to do this when meeting an Ordinator. These two groups usually had an unseen conflict.
Kain inspected the man in detail. A middle-aged Dunmer, red hair. He had the look of a warrior, but there was something odd about him... Kain couldn't exactly put his finger on it, but he felt something.
The man identified himself as Enar Indaram, knight-errant for the Tribunal Temple. Kain heard the name mentioned around Ghostgate sometimes. He was a local legend, apparently. Disappeared a few days ago while on an expedition into the Southern Ashlands, but eventually returned unharmed. His colleagues were very happy to see him back. The same could not be said for the Ordinators stationed there.
The man asked politely to speak to Nerethi in private...
03-03-2010, 05:23 PM
"I was raised in the Zainab, yes." Shana said, "That's where my mother is from."
"My father is Urshilaku. He moved to the Zainab with mother after I was born... here. I always considered it a home of sorts."
03-03-2010, 05:40 PM
Nerethi obliged the Buoyant Armiger and followed the chitin-armored figure to the next room. "What can I do for you?" He asked.
Caius nodded acknowledgement. "Well, maybe we can get a warm welcome here then."
03-03-2010, 05:53 PM
Daryon was speaking with his nephew... indirectly. This whole puppeteer-ish thing made him uncomfortable. It felt strange controling someone's body and speak through him while sensing your own at the same time. But at least Kjol honored his request to let him do the talking.
Kain was listening at the door, pretending to guard it. He was used to spying on people, so this was no hard task. He could easily identify the Arminger's voice, even though it sounded similar to Nerethi's. They were both Dunmer, after all.
"Muthsera, Adaves Nerethi. And thank you for accepting to speak with me. I have a proposition for you that I think you would like to hear. May I begin?"
03-03-2010, 05:55 PM
He shifted his weight slightly. He was unsure of the etiquette in the situation. Ordinators and Armigers didn't always get along. But both were in the service of Lord Vivec. "I'll listen Brother Indaram. What do you have to say?"
03-03-2010, 06:04 PM
Daryon continued, trying to be as persuasive as possible.
"To tell you the truth, I have heard much about you. Even though you are of the higher-ranks, you do not spend time in the Upper offices at Vivec, but rather travel and do justice like a true hero. I respect and admired that."
He took a deep breath, rolling his eyes, then resumed control and spoke:
"I have heard you seek to travel inside Ghostgate, to fight the Cor... to fight the abominable devils of Dagoth Ur. I want to escort you in this endeavor. I know this place like the palm of my hand and would certainly be of use."
"Hmm... this is too unrealistic." Daryon thought. "Let's make it a trade."
"All I ask in return is that after your mission is completed, and if I still live, is for you to speak with the Archcanon to let me retire in a small apartment at Vivec, in the Temple Quarter. I am old now, and feel like my service time is over. They have not allowed it, though, and am afraid I might die soon in this devil-forsaken place."
"Let's add an emotional touch."
"I am not afraid of death itself, brother, but I want to spend the rest of my short life praying for the younger brothers who fight with passion against evil. Pray to ALMSIVI -- Daryon felt disgust at the mere mention of the word -- that they might guide and protect them and that their victories be mighty and numerous."
He waited with predatory patience for an answer.
03-03-2010, 06:27 PM
Nerethi mulled it over silently. A guide could be useful at first.
"Very well. For the next few days we'll learn from you about the area. But after that, we have a task to complete alone." He paused briefly and then continued. "And I'm sure you can find an apartment in Saint Olm's or Saint Delyn without the Archcanon's help. But if you wish, I'll speak to him about it. I'm sure with your honorable record the Most Gracious ALMSIVI will repay your devotion."
03-03-2010, 06:35 PM
Kain saw the door opening and the Arminger leaving. He gazed at the Dremora with cold eyes for a few seconds before departing. Nerethi left the room too and approached Kain.
"What the hell does this guy want?" Kain asked, pretending he didn't listen in.
Daryon led Indaram's corpse to his chambers, before collapsing it on the bed in a less pleasant fashion and snapping out of the magick.
"Dagoth's-... bah, you control this thing from now on, it's giving me a headache" he said angered to Kjol, then left the Vault where they do the experiments.
"And do try to keep him in character, will you? We don't want our newly-found 'allies' to suspect a mental disorder or anything."
He returned to this office, only to have a moment's peace before being informed of an unpleasant visit by a superior...
03-03-2010, 06:46 PM
Nerethi looked at Kain. "He wants to help us as a guide in exchange for a retirement plan. I told him yes, for the next few days he'll guide us."
03-04-2010, 07:36 AM
"A... retirement plan?" Kain couldn't help himself from laughing. "This just keeps getting weirder and weirder..."
"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND!? Have you COMPLETELY forgotten our ways?"
The temperature in Daryon's office was extremely high. It was so every time Dagoth Gares was present. It was a normal thing for Ash Ghouls, but something made Gares different. Maybe it was the powerful magick he radiated, or maybe it was simply Daryon being unnerved. He sat quietly and listened to the rant.
"Necromancy is an abomination, a blasphemous act with unforgivable crimes!", Gares continued, "... and one of our own Sleepers fell victim to your thirst for power! One of our brothers! You betrayed your own kind, n'wah!" his voice was deep, his expression sour.
"We can destroy Ghostgate.", Daryon interrupted bluntly. He was determined to convince his superior about the integrity of their plan, even if inside he knew Gares what right and agreed with him.
The Ash Priest turned to meet Daryon's gaze, his trunk raising a few centimeters suspiciously.
"That's what we've been trying for years, stop your silly excu-"
"This time it's real." Daryon replied. "With the help of Malacath's necromancer, we have devised a way for us to infiltrate Ghostgate without being detected. It is working right now. Brother Vilyn's sacrifice was not in vain."
Daryon noticed that his master was more angry, but relieved at the same time. A strange feeling.
He approached him very closely and grabbed him by the shoulder. Daryon could feel his face skin slightly burning under the Ghoul's breath.
"Your plan should better work. Or else..."
He slowly let him go and departed towards the door, turning to him when he arrived there.
"... you'd wish you'd have died by the Ordinator's hands. That's all I will say."
Gares stayed in Kogoruhn for a few more hours, before departing to Illuminibi, leaving Daryon in charge again.
03-04-2010, 07:39 AM
Nerethi nodded. "Yes, it is weird. But we could use a guide for now, and he could use the satisfaction of helping ALMSIVI."
03-04-2010, 04:30 PM
"STACEEEY!" roared Sket as he slammed the door of the South Wall wide open. "Where are you, you cowardly scrib!?"
The few thieves that were in there drew their weapons, not knowing what was going on, but none of them expected the Khajiit.
Habasi came running around the corner, eyes wide and jaw slack as she saw Sket parading through the door, half changed in mind and having no regard for his own safety.
The Argonian, Only-He-Stands-Here, came running up the stairs and pulled Habasi back around the corner. "What is he doing here!?" he hissed.
"Sket..." was all she could get out.
<The armor only partially works.> thought Sket as he sniffed around for Stacey's scent. <I still have some control but the Were's mind is fighting harder than a Berserker on a bad day.>
03-06-2010, 08:45 AM
"Oh, well. Whatever motivation you Temple guys get.", Kain resigned himself with the thought.
"I'm going to my room. Tomorrow we're leaving for Ghostgate. Make sure you tell our new friend the time of departure. I won't wait for him."
With that said, Kain walked up the stairs, leaving Nerethi in the main chambers. He wasn't sure about this Arminger guy, but in truth, he was too tried to care.
03-06-2010, 09:52 AM
Sorry about the previous post. If you don't understand the "reason for editing" thing, it's that the Navajo Yenaldooshi (skin-walkers) can change shape at will.
03-08-2010, 06:19 AM
Caius wasn't sure how the trip was going. The Ashlanders had immediately embraced Shana, but he was being given the cold shoulder. He was finally understanding what Shana had meant by "xenophobia." He'd presumed it was exaggeration. It wasn't.
That night after dinner, he went and spoke to the Ashkhan. He'd said in very blunt terms that he didn't trust an outlander, especially a non-Dunmer outlander. He'd decided a "test" was in order to prove himself. The advantage in Caius' mind was that he'd finally be treated well. But he'd have to do some sort of menial task for sure. And it would delay the trip.
The Ashkhan had promised to assign the task the next morning. As dawn broke, Caius woke up and waited to receive this "test."
Nerethi watched Kain go up the stairs. He was tired too. But an evening of prayer would be good. He set off for the shrines.
03-24-2010, 12:39 PM
Caius Aurelias sighed deeply as he left the Ashkhan's tent. It would have been considered disrespectful to laugh in his face, or to even express the tiniest amount of his feeling on the task. They'd asked him to go to a Dwemer ruin called Bthungthumz, find a Dwarven specter, trap its soul, and bring it to the enchanter to finish an item for the Ashkhan. He wandered over to find Shana and ask her for advice.
Adaves Nerethi sat before the Shrine of Saint Nerevar. Hortator, give me the strength you showed. Help me to complete the task.
As he sat in prayer, a pair of Buoyant Armigers walked by. "Its good Brother Indaram has returned from his assignment. I feared he wouldn't be able to finish it." The other nodded slightly. "Well, its obvious the task changed him. Just pray to ALMSIVI that he will regain his former manner." The two passed through the room on their duties.
Nerethi rose, and headed to his chambers. Whatever was hanging on the edges of his mind would remain for tomorrow.
03-27-2010, 07:21 AM
Daryon woke up in a good mood. After a long while, he finally devised a method to spy on his two troublesome "friends" right within their grasp. And it succeeded thus far. The pain from his leg was less intense today, as well.
"Must've been the weather." he thought as slipped into his House Dagoth robe and grabbed the cane. "The blight storm has been absent from this part since yesterday."
He proceeded to walk through the hallways and down the stairs to the basement, past the armory and the lower quarters. Inside, the Necromancer was waiting for him. "Does this guy ever get *any* sleep at all?" Daryon wondered to himself as he approached the magic circle in the middle of the room. The one linked to Indaram's soul. The center of their puppeteer operation.
"Good morning." Daryon said in a relaxed tone as the Nord turned towards him. "I see you have everything ready. Never waste a moment do you..."
The other one was silent.
"Shall we get started? Ghostgate life starts early..."
After what seemed like years, Kain rose from his bed after a few hours of sleep. He was tired, hoping that overnight all the problems would solve by themselves. Usually that doesn't happen.
After washing his hands and face, he put on the special armor, feeling it's shadowy pulse upon the Dremora's body. This piece never ceased to amaze him. "I wonder if they will let me have it after this mission is over." he thought to himself. "But maybe it's wiser to just let them have it back. Who knows what debt they'd make me pay afterwards."
He walked down the stairs to the Tower of Dawn and sat on a chair admist the usual guards and pilgrims stationed there. Waiting for Nerethi and their other Armiger companion to arrive, he pulled out a random book from the table and started reading, to make the time pass quicker...
Shana was worried about this whole "mission" affair the Ashkhan embarked Caius upon. Despite rejoicing to see one of her people's camps again, she wanted to depart for Kogoruhn as quickly as possible, but it seems this won't be the case here. She would have complained about it to the Ashkhan, but she feared it would only make matters worse. Knowing her people better than anyone, and their fear of trusting outlanders, it would be best if both her and Caius played along. At least for now.
She rose from her chair as Caius entered the tent. It seems he was back from the meeting earlier than she thought.
"How did it went?"
03-28-2010, 10:54 AM
The Necromancer stared silently at Daryon through sunken eyes. His work was consuming him, further redefining him. Never before had he risen to such heights as this, and he still hadn't found limits. He brought his mind back on task, and finally spoke. "You will control his actions. I will observe and assist." With a rush of magical energy from his fingers, the circle became illuminated, and around them both a shimmering image arose. The views from around Indaram's body.
Caius stopped by Shana in the tent. "Your people are insanely demanding." He ran through the requests they'd made of him. "Dwarven ruins are not to be taken lightly, especially those patrolled by restless spirits. I'm afraid this will delay us, but I don't see any means of avoiding it."
Adaves Nerethi rose from the bed, washed, dressed, and headed down for morning prayers. He kneeled before the shrines and sent his supplications to the ears of ALMSIVI. When he finished he looked around, and frowned. Indaram wasn't here. But maybe it was nothing, he could just prefer prayer in his private quarters. Surely he would have a shrine there. Yes, that would be it. He brushed his doubts away and headed off to find Kain.
03-31-2010, 07:07 PM
Daryon sat lightly in the middle of the circle as Kjol covered him with a spell. He felt a light pain between the eyebrows, but it quickly faded away as a distinct spiritual pull brought him away from his body.
When he opened his eyes, he was inside Indaram's body once again. He rose from the bed and after having a quick breakfast (spilling some flin on the private shrine in the process) he slipped into the chitin armor and departed to the main gate.
Kain was enjoying a piece of lecture from "Vivec and Mephala", he barely heard Nerethi's footsteps as he approached.
"Am I at least allowed to accompany you?" Shana asked. She would hate to see Caius get hurt just because of the Ashkhan's whims. Hurt... or worse.
04-01-2010, 09:33 AM
Kjol watched on in silence, observing his associate's actions. And observing the quality of his workmanship. It really was stunning...
Nerethi took a seat by Kain. "Are you ready to head inside the Ghost Fence today?"
Caius shrugged. "The Ashkhan didn't specify. But since he didn't say no I have every intention of bringing you along. Whenever you're ready I'd like to start out."
04-10-2010, 01:12 PM
Sket slammed open the door of the room Stacey was staying in. He was not happy, but could not risk letting anyone know what he really was. Seeing Habasiīs face helped him regain control, but it was still a dangerous situation. "Ok, Stacey, what do you want?"
Basta ran, breathless, into the South Wall after Sketīthet. Her instincts told her to run from the Khajiit she was following, but her curiosity and sense of adventure told her to follow. To her it was majority that ruled.
04-10-2010, 07:13 PM
"You will address him with respect you miserable son of a-" Rasjii roared at the other Khajiit, but Gentleman Jim Stacey raised a hand in the air.
"Enough, Rasjii. Enough. If you proceed this way we won't be getting anywhere. Now calm down, both of you."
He waited for the two Khajiit to get seated.
"Sket, you've been a terrible guild member these past days. You've disobeyed direct orders, you've gotten yourself into a million of troubles, you caused problems with Vivec's Ordinators, nearly exposing us all. For this, I should have cut all your ties to the guild and banish you from our ranks forever."
He paused for effect.
"However, we are not ruthless assassins. After learning about your... condition, I can see the reasons behind your problems. You should have told me earlier, because the help would have come sooner than you now."
He noticed the surprise in Sket's eyes.
"Therefore, I will make one last request of you, and embark you on a task of utmost significance both for the guild and for yourself. This is not an ordinary chore, not even a special mission. You can use lethal force whenever you deem necessary, as long as you get the job done. And in the end... there may be a way for you to cure you of the curse that flows in your veins. A way to get rid of Sanies Lupinus."
He cracked a small smile.
"What do you say? Accept taking a great risk for the chance of a better life... or leave this place and die in the gutter, hunted, repelled even by your kind."
"The choice is yours."